Vanilla WoW Mining Guide

Things you should know before choosing to become a Miner:

If your primary profession is either Blacksmithing or Engineering, Mining is practically a prerequisite. Both professions require materials that can only be acquired through Mining. You could choose to not take up Mining as your second profession, but consequently you’ll have to spend an inpractical amount of money on the materials you need to raise your Blacksmithing and Engineering.

Mining is a great way to make money compared to some other professions. Unless you intend to take up Leatherworking, Mining is a good profession to consider. The only way to make large amounts of money through mining is by selling Arcane Crystals and Blood of the Mountain in the Auction House. Both of those items are extremely rare however, and you shouldn’t become a miner solely to farm them.

Your success with Mining will be based largely on how lucky you are. I know people who have found 2 Arcane Crystals in one Rich Thorium Vein, while I’ve personally only found 1 in my whole career as a miner. You can make a decent amount of money by selling the normal ore you find in any vein. However, how much money you make will be based largely on your server’s population. If you play on a high population server, it will be a lot harder to find veins, and the prices for your ore won’t be as high as they are on other servers.

Unlike other professions, Mining is based largely on luck. If you’re the kind of person who loves to gamble, Mining is definitely for you. You never know if that next vein could hold a valuable gem, which adds a suspenseful and addictive quality to it. I’ve personally stayed up far past my bedtime on several nights, because you never know…that next Rich Thorium Vein may have an Arcane Crystal inside.

The Basics of Mining

(If you’re already a miner, skip this section)

First, you need to train in Mining.

Below is a table of all the Mining trainers:

Faction NPC Location
Horde Trainers:
Makaru
Center of the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar.
Brek Stonehoof
Western edge of the center plateau in Thunder Bluff.
Brom Killian
South of the bridge leading to the War Quarter in the Undercity.
Alliance Trainers:
Geofram Bouldertoe
Deepmountain Mining Guild in Ironforge.
Gelman Stonehand
Western side of the Dwarven District in Stormwind.
Yarr Hammerstone
Eastern edge of Kharanos in Dun Morogh.
Dank Drizzlecut
Slightly north of Gol’Bolar Quarry in Dun Morogh.
Brock Stoneseeker
Southwest side of Thelsamar in Loch Modan.
Kurdram Stonehammer
Northern area of Auberdine in Darkshore
Matt Johnson
Northern section of Darkshire in Duskwood.

Once you’ve become a miner, buy a Mining Pick, and start mining copper in one of the zones listed in the Advanced section of this guide. Before you start mining, don’t forget to turn on the Find Minerals ability. This ability will make nearby mineral veins appear on your minimap as a yellow dot. When you’ve collected some ore, smelt it into bars at any forge. Smelting your ore will make it more valuable and allow you to use it when making items for Blacksmithing or Engineering. You can also gain Skill points by Smelting, provided the ability isn’t grey.

After awhile, the Copper Veins will turn grey, and you’ll no longer be able to gain skill by mining them. When this happens, you’ll need to move on to the next tier of ore. Check the lists in the Advanced section of this guide to see which kind of ore you need to mine at your skill level, and how much skill you need to smelt it. You will stop gaining skill points when you reach the maximum skill level for your rank, so make sure you talk to a trainer when you’ve maxed out your skill.

Skill Requirement for Each Rank:

  • Apprentice – 0
  • Journeyman – 50
  • Expert – 125
  • Artisan – 200

Advanced Mining Guide

The lists below will give you all the general information you need to reach 300 Mining skill:

Skill Requirements for each type of Vein:

Vein Type Skill Needed
Copper
1
Tin
65
Incendicite*
65
Silver
75
Lesser Bloodstone*
75
Iron
125
Indurium*
150
Gold
155
Mithril
175
Dark Iron*
230
Truesilver
230
Small Thorium
250
Rich Thorium
275

*asteriks denote special ores used in quests, explained below.

Skill Requirements to smelt each type of Ore:

Ore Skill Needed
Copper
1
Tin
65
Bronze*
65
Silver
75
Iron
125
Gold
155
Steel*
165
Mithril
175
Truesilver
230
Dark Iron**
230
Thorium
250

*Bronze and Steel Bars are made by combining 1 Copper Bar with 1 Tin Bar for Bronze, and 1 Iron Bar with 1 Coal for Steel. Coal can be bought at any Blacksmithing or Mining merchant.

**Dark Iron can’t be smelted normally, read the explanation below.

Locations of each type of normal Vein:

  • Copper – Alterac Mountains, Ashenvale, Darkshore, Desolace, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Duskwood, Elwynn Forest, Hillsbrad Foothills, Loch Modan, Mulgore, Redridge Mountains, Silverpine Forest, Stonetalon Mountains, The Barrens, Thousand Needles, Tirisfal Glades, Westfall, and Wetlands
  • Tin – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Ashenvale, Darkshore, Desolace, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Loch Modan, Redridge Mountains, Silverpine Forest, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, The Barrens, Thousand Needles, Westfall, and Wetlands
  • Iron – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Ashenvale, Badlands, Blasted Lands, Desolace, Duskwood, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas, Hillsbrad Foothills, Searing Gorge, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, The Hinterlands, Thousand Needles, and Wetlands
  • Mithril Deposit – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Azshara, Badlands, Blasted Lands, Burning Steppes, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas, Hillsbrad Foothills, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, The Hinterlands, Thousand Needles, Western Plaguelands, and Winterspring
  • Small Thorium Vein – Blasted Lands, Burning Steppes, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Tanaris, The Hinterlands, Un’Goro Crater, Western Plaguelands, and Winterspring
  • Rich Thorium Vein – Azshara, Burning Steppes, Eastern Plaguelands, Silithus, Un’Goro Crater, Western Plaguelands, and Winterspring

Locations of each type of uncommon Vein:

  • Silver – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Ashenvale, Badlands, Darkshore, Desolace, Duskwood, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas, Hillsbrad Foothills, Loch Modan, Redridge Mountains, Searing Gorge, Silverpine Forest, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, The Barrens, The Hinterlands, Thousand Needles, Westfall, and Wetlands
  • Gold – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Ashenvale, Azshara, Badlands, Blasted Lands, Burning Steppes, Desolace, Duskwood, Dustwallow Marsh, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas, Hillsbrad Foothills, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, The Hinterlands, Thousand Needles, Western Plaguelands, Wetlands, and Winterspring
  • Truesilver – Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Azshara, Badlands, Blasted Lands, Burning Steppes, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Stonetalon Mountains, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, The Hinterlands, Un’Goro Crater, Western Plaguelands, and Winterspring

Location and Purpose of Special Veins:

  • Rethban Ore – Any Copper or Tin mine in Redridge Mountains will drop these randomly.
    Rethban Ore’s for a quest given by Foreman Oslow, in Redridge Mountains. He should be located at the southeast side of Lakeshire. This isn’t really related to mining, since mobs will drop it just as frequently, but I added it by request.
  • Incendicite – Wetlands, in the cave directly north of Dun Algaz on the map.
    Incendicite is the objective of the alliance quest Search for Incendicite, which is given to you by Pilot Stonegear in Dun Morogh.
  • Indurium – Inside Uldaman, in the various tunnels.
    Indurium is the objective of the neutral quest Indurium Ore given by Pozzik at the race track in Thousand Needles.
  • Lesser Bloodstone – Arathi Highlands, in the northeast corner of the map.
    Lesser Bloodstone Ore is the objective of the alliance quest Favor for Krazek, given by Krazek in Booty Bay.
  • Dark Iron – In Blackrock Depths and Molten Core, deposits can be found in any of the numerous caverns.
    Dark Iron serves 2 purposes. You can either smelt it to create bars for any of the Blackrock Depths exclusive recipes, or you can turn it in to Lokhtos Darkbargainer in the bar in Blackrock Depths to increase your Thorium Brotherhood faction. When you get your Thorium Brotherhood faction to Honored and above, Lokhtos will sell you some really nice crafting recipes. Before you get too excited about that prospect, read the paragraph below about smelting Dark Iron Ore.
    To create one Dark Iron Bar, you need 8 Dark Iron Ore, and you can only smelt Dark Iron at the Dark Forge, which is located near the portal to Molten Core. Before you can smelt it, you need to learn how to smelt Dark Iron Ore from Gloom’rel deep in Blackrock Depths in the 7 Ghosts room. He’ll teach you how to smelt it if you give him 20 Gold Bars, 10 Truesilver Bars, and 2 Star Rubies. You can only make items that require Dark Iron Bars at the Black Anvil, which is on the other side of the instance where Lord Incendius is located.

Gems found in each type of Vein:

  • Copper – Malachite, Shadowgem, Tigerseye
  • Tin – Jade, Shadowgem, Lesser Moonstone, Moss Agate, Blood Shard(can only be mined in the Barrens, used for a quest)
  • Silver – Shadowgem, Lesser Moonstone, Moss Agate
  • Iron – Aquamarine, Jade, Lesser Moonstone, Citrine
  • Gold – Jade, Lesser Moonstone, Citrine
  • Mithril – Aquamarine, Citrine, Black Vitriol, Star Ruby
  • Truesilver – Aquamarine, Citrine, Star Ruby
  • Dark Iron – Black Diamond, Blood of the Mountain, Black Vitriol
  • Small Thorium – Large Opal, Blue Sapphire, Star Ruby, Black Vitriol
  • Rich Thorium – Arcane Crystal, Azerothian Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Huge Emerald, Large Opal, Star Ruby

Most gems you find are only used in crafting, and can be bought or sold in the AH cheap.

However, a few gems are extremely rare and therefore valuable:

  • Arcane Crystals – Anywhere from 20-40g depending on your server. Drop rate is approximately 3%, although their droprate was reportedly changed in the last patch.
  • Azerothian Diamonds – Anywhere from 40-100g depending on your server. Drop rate is approximately 1%.
  • Blood of the Mountain – Anywhere from 50-150g depending on your server. Drop rate is approximately 1%.

Tips

  • If you play on a PvP server, stay out of popular zones when trying to raise your skill. Stay away from Hillsbrad Foothills, Stranglethorn Vale, and Arathi Highlands unless you’re questing there.
  • Try to avoid Silithus when you’re looking for Rich Thorium Veins. Most of them are underground, and you have to fight through numerous elite mobs to reach them.
  • If you’re looking for Rich Thorium Veins, try looking in Un’Goro Crater, Burning Steppes, Eastern Plaguelands, and Azshara first. Those zones seem to have the most Thorium veins, and they’re easy to navigate.
  • If you can’t gain anymore skill in a zone, don’t go to a zone above your level looking for the next tier of ore. If you go to a zone that’s too high level for you, you’ll waste a lot of time running back to your corpse. Get a few levels, then move on to the next zone.
  • Don’t give up if it takes you a long time to find Arcane Crystals or Azerothian Diamonds. It’s completely random whether they drop or not, so it may take awhile before you get your first one. Also, don’t forget that they only drop from Rich Thorium Veins, so don’t expect to see one drop off a small one.