This is only a suggestion, I have not yet decided to make this change, and would like to know the players opinions about it.
In order to get more players to fight in the Newman/Richmond battles and give them reason to capture/defend the cities I suggest the following change: If a faction owns both cities they will be able to mine rare materials there.
For example if Zeon owns both Newman and Richmond they will be able to mine FTCC in those cities. And if EF owns both cities they will be able to mine FL.
But if e.g EF owns Newman and Zeon owns Richmond it will not be possible to mine FTCC/FL.