The Manual Miner is a useful little gathering tool, if somewhat confusing. This guide on How To Use The Manual Miner In The Front explains how it functions and how you can use it to either harvest Crude Oil or random, lower-level ores and minerals. It’s worth noting that this is not a fast method, not by any stretch of the word. It’s very slow and unreliable, but it does allow you to be incredibly efficient with your time.
As the name, Manual Miner, suggests, you need to use this device manually. Once it is placed, approach it and HOLD the interact button when you are closed. This will bring up a contextual menu where you have several different options. You will either want to select to mine for Crude Oil or Ores. You can only do one or the other.
How To Use The Manual Miner In The Front
Your character will then sit on the device and operate it. If you leave The Front as your main, active screen, it will continue to harvest even if you are AFK, but only for a short period. This allows you to use it when you are nipping AFK for a short while, perhaps for a drink or to use the bathroom, so you can still be gathering materials.
Mining is a much faster method of getting ores, and you can get Crude Oil much faster too.