The Automated Miner is the lazy man's answer to mining.
Why spend all that time down in dangerous caves when with a little EU, and a few bits and pieces, you can mine ore from the surface!
To run the Automated Miner requires 3 things, with several optional highly recommended things:
Energy: From a cable or portable sources (NOT including Tier II or Tier III energy devices.) Batpacks work.
Pipe: Mining Pipe is consumed to dig down. Returned once the miner retracts
To use the miner insert a Drill Bit into the top-left, a Scanner in the top-right and your Mining Pipes into the top-middle.
The miner will consume the pipes to dig down extracting ore it finds in its scan range(See Scanning Range section).
Any ore found will be brought up and ejected onto the surface next to the miner. Placing a chest next to the miner will result in the ore being stored in it instead.
Once the miner has finished you can retract the pipes by removing the Drill bit. Also you may place blocks (Dirt etc.) in the pipe slot to fill in the shaft when it retracts.
An easy method of efficiently mining with the Automated Miner is to dig down to the upper level of the strata containing the ore you are seeking. Dig through a tunnel until you find a scan result you are happy with and set up the Miner. For power, consider using a Geothermal Generator, as you are likely to be relatively deep and hauling buckets of Lava is an energy efficient means to power the Miner.
A miner with an OD Scanner mines all ore in a 5x5 block area around it.
However a miner with an OV Scanner mines all ore in a massive 9x9 block area!
If the miner hits water or lava while tunneling it will stop unless they are cleared.
Alternatively if you place a Pump next to the miner (filled with empty cells) it will extract the liquids for you, storing the lava in the cells for power generation!
Rough power costs for one operation:
Mining Drill: ~450-470 EU
Diamond Drill: ~880-900 EU
OD Scanner: ~65-75 EU
OV Scanner: ~165-190 EU
So the cost to drill down 1 level with a Mining Drill + OD Scanner is ~460+~70 = 530
And the cost to drill down 1 level with a Diamond Drill + OD Scanner is ~890+~70 = 960
Diamond Drills are far more expensive but far faster. ~4 times as fast.
A miner with a Mining Drill and OD Scanner will use ~2-3 EU/t.
A miner with a Diamond Drill and OV Scanner will use ~20-24 EU/t due to the higher cost per tool and faster mining speed.
Miners can not mine through items like torches, redstone wiring etc.
Sought after blocks are controlled in the .minecraft/config/IC2.cfg file on the line start with valuableOres=, if you want to add blocks from other mods the list is a comma separated set of blocks following this pattern: blockID-Damage:ScannerValue, ; when the damage value is not specified all possible values match.