- "We'll be sent to the Spice Mines of Kessel, smashed into who-knows-what!"
It was filled with dangerous energy spiders that constantly attacked the workers who mined the precious spice. It was known as a form of torture, as the work was so difficult and the conditions so poor. The mines were extremely cold, so much so that thermal suits had to be worn to keep the workers alive. Because of the weak atmosphere, essential gases such as oxygen were constantly escaping. Oxygen generators were stationed around the planet. The Empire threatened to sentence beings who would not cooperate to work in the mines if these beings continued to ignore them.
Sometime during the Galactic Civil War, Hawk Carrow and Nagraoao were prisoners in the Spice Mines of Kessel. Roark Garnet took his ship, the Dorion Discus, to the Kessel system to rescue his friends, but was stopped by a Star Destroyer for inspection. Garnet bribed a Navy officer to let him go.
Before Emperor Palpatine died and the Empire started to fall, there was a prison coup in which the assistant to the warden took over and turned the mines into his own slave encampment. Eventually Lando Calrissian attempted to turn the mines into a legitimate operation. The mines were also where Han Solo and Chewbacca discovered Kyp Durron.