Growing in large crystalline structures hued in various shades of blue, loftite can be found both above and below ground--and a recent spike in demand for the substance has attracted large intergalactic corporations hoping to increase their profits, as well as individual prospectors looking to strike it rich.
It is the unique properties of loftite that make it so valuable. Through a natural process that is not yet completely understood, loftite seems to decrease the local gravity of itself and other objects within close proximity--literally making them as light as air itself. Scientifically, this fact is both fascinating and astounding, making loftite one of the most closely studied substances in the galaxy.
The practical applications of such a naturally occurring substance are almost limitless--everything from low-energy propulsion systems to advanced military weapons development. Such projects are already underway by both the Dominion and the Exiles, thus creating the demand for the substance which has made Algoroc a very popular location.
As crystals grow in size, so does their anti-gravitational force--and therefore larger chunks of the substance are often found floating high above the ground. If these floating chunks are located on flat terrain, the collection process is relatively simple. An individual only needs to jump up into the air and grab the floating crystal.
But many of the most abundant sources of loftite are located in more vertical, mountainous territory, and such locations present unique-- and sometimes dangerous-- challenges for prospectors. The cliffs located near the mining camp of Tremor Ridge are a good example. The intense concentration of loftite in these cliffs plays havoc with the propulsion and navigational systems of most ships, and so prospectors are forced to collect the floating crystals one at a time by hand--jumping from one rocky outcropping to another. As the prospectors are also affected by proximity to the substance, these jumps can often take them more than a hundred meters into the air.
Although this experience can be exhilarating, it can also be very dangerous. More than one inexperienced prospector has jumped too far out from the cliffs while collecting the alluring blue crystals, leaving the anti-gravitational safety zone and falling to ignominious death.
In a few rare cases, subterranean loftite crystals have grown to enormous size--and those located near to the surface have burst through the ground in a spectacular display of dynamic geography. The best known examples of this phenomenon are known as The Crystal Shards--located in the wilds of southwestern Algoroc.
These two pillar-like structures rise hundreds of meters into the air, composed of massive loftite crystals and the rocks and earth that still cling to them. A number of trees have grown on the various outcroppings of the Shards, their roots finding purchase in the soil that still exists there.
Disagreements about ownership--as well as the sheer size of the crystals themselves--have made harvesting these sources difficult, and as a result the Shards have grown into a popular location for both scientists and sightseers. There is also a growing subculture of explorers and other daredevils who view the Shards as a mountaineering challenge--using a combination of their skills and the physical properties of the massive crystals to try and attain their summits.