If a Settlement is formed, but a licensed prospector has not been assigned to it, the first prospetor that should come across it may request governorship. In all cases the title of Governor and primary access to the Settlements resources shall be given to the first requestor. - Central Trading Prospector's Exodus Guide, pg. 143
Each Settlement on Mars, irregardless of population can be lead by a single governor. This governor shall be the first player who approaches the Settlement and claims it. The same procedure applies to settlements that were once owned but released in a cashout. Governing Settlements boosts the players bonus to hitting a motherload when exploring ruins. Being the governor of a settlement also increases the value of minerals sold at that settlement.
Settlements can be seized by other prospectors by attacking a governed Settlement and winning. The governorship is instantly transferred to the victor.
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