The basic "Mining Ship" is used to mine rocky bodies for minerals, and needs a Mining Engine. The "Gas Mining Ship", by contrast, harvests gaseous elements from gaseous bodies with a Gas Extractor. Both types need some form of Cargo Bay to hold their wares, over and above the basic set of ship components, and their civilian nature limits them to a single weapon. A Luxury Resource Extractor can also be of value, for those resources which are neither mineral nor gas.
Because of their limited size and defensive capabilities, Mining Stations are generally a better investment; however, they have better responsiveness to transitory demand than station-building.