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Benamite is a rare crystalline substance found sparingly throughout the galaxy. While the exact process of its formation is unknown, it has been known to be found in systems with other unusual traits, such as binary or trinary systems.

Benamite, despite its rarity, has proven mostly useless to Federation science until the invention of the Quantum Slipstream Drive. First discovered and tested by the USS Voyager during its travels in the Delta Quadrant, Benamite proved to be the key to making the system work, though even then Voyager couldn’t sustain the drive for extended periods.

As part of the Fleet Modernization Program, Star Fleet implemented the drive in over a dozen of their designs, designing sleeker ships to help maintain the drive for longer than Voyager could. As a result, Benamite has become a valuable commodity.

Known Sources

United Federation of Planets

The Federation has treated the Quantum Slipstream Drive as a strategic secret, and as such while it is known that they have a dedicated source of Benamite within their territory, the location is not public knowledge. It is known, however, that Star Fleet is continuing to search for more sources wherever they may be found.

Ships with QSDs are known to carry a small quantity of crystals on board, but Star Fleet is severely rationing supplies while attempting to locate a new source..

Cardassian Union

In early 2421, the Cardassian Union lay claim to the Parhelia system, which is known to be rich in Benamite. The system is far from their primary territory, being on the Federation / Ferengi border rather than contiguous with current Union territory.

Delta Quadrant

It is known that Benamite does exist within the Delta Quadrant, as Voyager’s logs do show that they procured the mineral to power their experimental QSD. However, it is currently unknown how much exists and where.