The X5 requires the port to be Thunderbolt 3. It won't work with any else.
You didn't state the model/year of the Mac Mini but I am guessing it is not the latest.
I use the X5 with my 2019 Macbook Pro with no problems.
The drive works on the mac. It is as 2018 Mac Mini bought from Apple a couple of days ago. If I install a trial of Parallels, that software mounts the drive. So Parallels supports external Thunderbolt 3 drives, but it is looking like VMWare does not.
I wonder if you need VMWare Pro for Thunderbolt support.
Does VMWare follow these forums?
So looks like VMWare doesn’t support the mounting of Thunderbolt Drives.
This is from the VMWare FAQ found here:
Can I access Thunderbolt hard drives in Windows?
While Thunderbolt ports cannot be directly forwarded to Windows VM’s the same way that USB works, you can still access your Thunderbolt hard drives in VMware Fusion by mapping the hard drive to a VMware Shared Folder. Go to the Virtual Machine menu, select ‘Shared Folders’ and select ‘Add Shared Folder’. Select your Thunderbolt hard drive and click ‘Open’ to assign your Thunderbolt disk to the shared folder. To access your Thunderbolt hard drive in Windows, go to ‘VMware Shared Folders’ shortcut on the desktop and select your Thunderbolt hard disk.