Old School RuneScape: Mining 1-99 Leveling Guide

Quick Links

  • Essentials And Getting Started
  • Recommended 1-99 Leveling Roadmap
  • Mining Copper And Tin Ore
  • Mining Iron Ore
  • The Motherlode Mine
  • Mining Gem Rocks

Mining is perhaps one of Old School RuneScape's simplest skills. There are many different places you can go to train the skill, but wherever you end up, it is in essence an act of repeatedly hitting your pickaxe against rocks to extract ores and other goodies. These can then be used to create useful products through Smithing and Crafting.

As you would expect from a skill all about gathering resources, dedicated Mining training can earn you massive profits if you're willing to put the hours in. If you're an Ironman, then Mining also represents an excellent way of obtaining rare weapons and gemstones.

Essentials And Getting Started

In Old School RuneScape, you'll only ever need one item for your Mining training: a Pickaxe. There are various grades of pickaxe, corresponding to the standard metal ores in the game in an analogous way to the standard armour sets:

PickaxeMining Level Required
Bronze1
Iron1
Steel6
Black11
Mithril21
Adamant31
Rune41
Dragon61
Crystal71

you should start with an Iron Pickaxe at level one Mining, then work your way up through Steel, Black, Mithril, Adamant, and Rune, until you can use the mighty Dragon Pickaxe at level 61 Mining.

Although Pickaxes can be wielded like regular weapons, they will also work if they're unequipped in your inventory, so don't worry about obtaining 60 Attack just to wield a Dragon Pickaxe. However, if you do have the Attack level it is recommended to wield the pickaxe you're using to save an inventory space while mining.

If you have level 85 Smithing, you should craft yourself an Infernal Pickaxe. This is statistically equivalent to the Dragon Pickaxe, but has a one-in-three chance to spontaneously combust any ore you mine, giving you a small hit of Smithing xp and reducing inventory space taken up, leading to fewer bank trips and thus faster experience (XP) rates.

Although a few ores are especially good for quick xp training, the game contains many ores that all yield different xp per rock, and if you have a particular reason for wanting a certain ore then most make solid training options:

OreLevel RequiredXP Per OreBest Locations
Copper/Tin117.5Lumbridge Swamp Mine, Varrock East Mine
Iron1535Al Kharid Mine, Legends' Guild Mine, Resource Area
Silver2040Al Kharid Mine, Crafting Guild Mine
Coal3050Mining Guild, South Ardougne Mine, South-West Wilderness Mine
Gem Rocks4065Shilo Village Mine (Basement)
Gold4065Crafting Guild, Arzinian Mine
Granite4550Western Desert Mining Site
Mithril5580Mining Guild, Hobgoblin Mine
Adamantite7095Mining Guild, Desert Mining Site
Runite85125Fossil Island Mine, Central Fremennik Isles Mine

Completing the Easy Varrock Diary will earn you the Varrock Armour 1, which provides a small Mining bonus. Whenever you mine a rock, it'll give you two ores 10 percent of the time, leading to a small boost to your xp rates that will definitely add up over time. However, this only works on low-level ores (i.e. Gold Ore and below) and so will not help you for all the training methods in this guide.

Recommended 1-99 Leveling Roadmap

To make sure you're always mining for the maximum amount of XP, you're going to need to move around and mine different ores.

Level RangeMethodNotes
1-15Mining Copper And Tin OreGood for getting you off the ground, but is quickly eclipsed by Iron mining.
15-30/40/72/99Mining Iron OreGives good XP rates but no profit. You can switch to the Motherlode Mine at level 30 or 72 (for the upper level) if you're looking for a more relaxed, lower-XP method. Can also switch to Gem Rocks at level 40 if you have completed the Hard Karamja Diary.
30-40, or 72-99Motherlode MineUnlocks at level 30, but XP is slow until you unlock the upper level at level 72. At level 40 you can switch to Gem Rocks if you have them unlocked.
40-99Mining Gem RocksA fast, profitable method that is unlocked when you complete the Hard Karamja Diary.

Mining Copper And Tin Ore

This is the quintessential beginners' Mining activity – you even learn how to mine Copper and Tin on Tutorial Island. Before you hit level 15 Mining, your training options are limited, but fortunately mining Copper and Tin Ores will help you reach that all-important milestone very quickly.

It doesn't matter which you go for between Copper and Tin ores, since the differences between them are negligible. You can mine them in many locations around Gielinor, although the Lumbridge Swamp Mine and Varrock East Mine are perhaps two of the best places where rocks are plentiful and are easily accessible for newer players. The Varrock East Mine is notorious for how crowded it can get, though, so sticking to Lumbridge Swamp might be better option if you can find a quiet world there. If you fancy it, you can even take your mined ores up to the Lumbridge smithy for an extra dose of nostalgia.

Mining Iron Ore

Level 15 Mining is where the grind truly begins, since at this level you unlock the ability to mine Iron Ore. Not only does this provide double the experience of mining either a Copper or Tin, but there are also numerous locations widespread around Gielinor where Iron mining can be done very efficiently.

Before you reach level 60 Mining, you'll want to find a location where you can mine three Iron Ore rocks without moving, since this will grant you the best possible XP rates. There are many of these around the RuneScape world; in particular there are spots at the Al Kharid Mine, the Legends' Guild MIne, and the Resource Area in the Wilderness from which three rocks can be accessed. Also be sure to bring your Varrock Armour with you if you have it to further boost your gains.

When you reach level 60 Mining, the best place to mine Iron is undoubtedly the Members-only portion of the Mining Guild, accessible through the Dwarven Mine. You can also teleport directly to the mine using a Skill Necklace if you desire. In this specific section of the mine, Iron Ore rocks replenish twice as quickly as they do anywhere else, meaning that you save a lot of time waiting for new ore to be available.

The main downside of Iron mining is that, as well as being relatively click-intensive, it also makes virtually no money, since Iron Ore is incredibly cheap. Because of this, many Iron miners in RuneScape forego money-making entirely and simply drop their ores on the ground so that they don't have to keep making bank trips – the additional xp they're earning more than makes up for the slight loss in profit.

The Motherlode Mine

Mining the same rocks over and over again can get pretty repetitive, so if you want a break from it, then the Motherlode Mine might be for you. In a refreshing twist on the usual formula, you'll be mining raw pay-dirt from veins in the wall, which then needs to be cleaned by flowing through a water stream to convert it into useable ore. This means that you'll need to place your pay-dirt in a hopper from which it will flow to a sack where it can be collected as ore – cleaning the pay-dirt in this way also earns you additional XP.

You can access the Motherlode Mine from level 30, and the entrance is near the Mining Guild, so dust off that Skills Necklace for a quick teleport there. From level 72 Mining, however, you can access the Mine's upper level, which features mineral veins that are closer together and also have slightly different mechanics that allow you to get more pay-dirt from a vein before it's depleted. Even on this upper level, though, XP rates are low in the Motherlode Mine. This is offset by an impressive profit margin and the fact that mining here is relatively easy and click-free compared to other methods.

Moreover, you will often earn Gold Nuggets from your cleaned pay-dirt, which can be redeemed in the rewards shop for various items. The best pick of the bunch is the Prospector Kit, which gives you 2.5% bonus Mining XP on all rocks and veins.

Mining Gem Rocks

Are you getting bored with seeing the same ores all the time? Or are you an Ironman looking to get ahold of some valuable opal and jade? The answer could be mining Gem Rocks in the Shilo Village mine, which you can do from level 40 Mining. That said, mining Gem Rocks in the regular mine isn't really worth your time, because there aren't that many Gem Rocks there and you'll have to spend a lot of time making trips to a faraway bank.

Instead, if you've completed the Karamja Hard Diary, you can use the Karamja Gloves 3 to access the Shilo Village Mine's basement section, which contains many Gem Rocks and also a Bank Deposit Box. The gloves also give you a teleport to the mine!

From each Gem Rock, you have a random chance of obtaining any gem, meaning that profit rates are dependent on your luck – although this should level out over long sessions to give you very generous profit per hour. Alongside some great xp rates, this makes mining Gem Rocks in the basement a very solid option that often carries players all the way to level 99.

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