I've done some searching for information on them and can't find anything other than a nice description under rules section. The description does not say what they actually do to increase performance of mining etc.
There is also nothing in the mining rules page to indicate they do add value to mining. Are they for roleplay purposes or do they serve a real function?
I've read in the archives that there was talk about there purpose but nothing conclusive.
I've read in the suggestion section that it was proposed they should reduce mining collapses, again, I didn't see any resolution on what was determined they would do.
I've been doing some testing with them and so far haven't seen any value added to mining. They do not increase extraction amounts or reduce extraction times or cost. Whether they do help with mining collapses is a little more difficult to quantify as mining collapses are random.