Benamite is a rare and unstable form of crystal which is extremely difficult to synthesize.
Benamite crystal can be used to power advanced forms of military explosives.
In 2375, the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager constructed a quantum slipstream drive, at the heart of which were benamite crystals. Although it was eventually discovered that constant phase variances in the quantum threshold could make the journey extremely hazardous, the crew elected to risk implementing the slipstream drive anyway, as the crystals had already started to decay, and synthesizing more could have taken years.
In 2410, a task force lead by the U.S.S. Independence (NCC-93027), recovered a large cache of benamite from Cardassian Trueway forces. This cache resulted in the mass production of Slipstream Drives, though Starfleet Command is slow to install them on existing ships