Mining provides a boost to Industrial Output in a system. If the station is on a system with population centers and production facilities, it provides a 500 units boost. When its placed on nearby system where there aren't any production facilities, it provides a 250 unit boost to the neighbour systems.
They can be placed on Gas Giants, Barren Worlds and Asteroid Belts. So look out for those systems, they have a lot of potential!
No mining ships required for this operation.