[Update] I've uploaded a post that's a more in-depth look at the basics of mining in space
Remember a while back when there was that company that said they were going to mine asteroids for valuable resources? A company that attracted big big names such as James Cameron and Larry Page to back it? Well apparently they have now decided that that day will be in 2015, when they hope to launch the first space mining crafts, the Firefly series. Despite being named after that one class of ship from that moderately popular sci-fi show, the design is unfortunately not as awesome as the Serenity but instead resembles a large cuboid (a practical design but not very futuristic).
The company, Deep Space Industries, hope that by 2015 the crafts will begin prospecting suitable meteors while 2020 will mark the actual mining operation.
[Deep Space Industries via io9)