A Miner will extract valuable ores from a 1x1, 5x5, or 9x9 area beneath the miner, whereas a Quarry will extract all blocks from within its boundaries.
To run, the Miner requires 3 things, with several optional but highly recommended things:
Energy: From a cable or portable sources (including Batpacks but not Tier III energy devices).
Pipe: Mining Pipe
Which is consumed to dig down, and returned once the miner retracts.
Drill bit: Mining Drill
Make a Scanner so that it branches off to the sides to mine blocks, instead of just boring a shaft directly down. Scanner: OD Scanner
or OV Scanner
Pump: Pump (IC2)
with Empty Cells
To collect source water blocks that get in the way of mining, and to clear + store lava in a stackable container.
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. As soon as the miner has a drill bit, pipes, and power, it will start digging.
The miner will consume the pipes to dig down extracting ore it finds under it, or within a 5x5 square if an OD Scanner is inserted or in a 9x9 square if a OV scanner is inserted (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; retracted pipes will be slowly dropped onto the ground nearby, or into an adjacent chest if one is present. You may place blocks (Dirt etc.) in the pipe slot to fill in the shaft when it retracts. If you don't fill in the shaft, breaking the machine might cause it to fall down to bedrock (or wherever the miner was stopped).
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.
Note: Must be connected to low voltage. 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
Therefore, 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.