It was built as the Lunar Mining Base in 2091 as a joint project of several multi-national manufacturing concerns known as Lunar Partnership. It was situated in the Mare Nubium crater, because of the high concentration of Di-Cor, foreseeing its potential usefulness as a power source and catalyst (and eventally the economic dependence). The Lunar Mining Commission was established in 2152 with the mission of fully exploiting Lunar resources, Di-Cor being the highest priority.
The mines produced raw materials for Orbiting Production Platforms, initially providing construction materials, then later produced only the raw materials for the orbital stations' manufacturing operations, which were later sent to Earth. The Luna-orbit-earth model was economically efficient due to overcoming the gravity.
The mining operation proved to be economically problematic endeavor because of its radioactivity and generally the hazardous lunar environment. Miners demanded and received high wages and high safety precautions. As a rsult, Di-Cor prices stayed inflated, and its demand stayed low. And thus its scientific and practical potential remained largely in theory.
By 2176, when the Cartel system was introduced, the Commission became the Lunar Mining Cartel, and with the Security Cartel, they negotiated to a co-operative venture: turning the base to a lunar penal colony would save both wages and safety precautions. Thus SecCart allowed the LMC to select freely "conscripts" from among prisoners to serve as unpaid lunar miners (senior prisoners would receive miniscule wages), and provided personnel to guard the new lunar penal colony. In return, the LMC provided SecCart with a flat 20% of gross Di-Cor revenues.
As the WEC does not consider the prisoners worthy of safety precautions, the efficient pre-WEC safety devices were reserved for supervisors and guards.
Since 2192 the director of the LMC, and the de facto chief executive of Darkside Station, is Judith Leach. She introduced an administrative program that combined a zero-tolerance policy for conscripts with a series of improvements, upgrades and amenities for citizen/partners. The reforms however lagged far behind projections, before finally slowing to a halt, as ever-increasing WEC demand for more raw Di-Cor has forced the LMC to devote all its energies to increasing production.
During the last 5 years, there had been several uprisings. One was controlled by simple force of arms, with prisoner casualities near 100% in the area. Same happened with one uprising in the barracks, and another in the mines, which were controlled by sealing off the area, then withholding life support.
All lunar citizens were gainfully employed, carefully screened WEC professionals. The importation of the conscripts cause the population to soar, and even the citizen/parner population expanded, expanding the lunar mining operation to the first non-terrestrial city. As a result, by 2189 the citizen/partners population was multiplied in threefold, and the conscripts outnumbered them 3 to 1.
The official public WEC estimates are that 7% of LMC conscripts die of injury or illness with 5% suffering permanent injury. The Resistance estimates that the actual figures are much higher: 25-40% mortality with an additional 15-25% incapacitated.
Many of those conscripts who survive the draconian sentences and the health hazards of the mines, choose to remain on Luna rather than return home (and face social and professional ostracism as malcontents). The LMC accepts them because of their experience and willingness to take on more dangerous assignments. These form the 3% of the non-Conscript population.