- Author: Furious
- Date: January 18, 2020
- Updated: July 29, 2021
- Expansion: TBC Classic
Mining is one of the most essential gathering professions in all of WoW. It involves extracting ore from mineral nodes throughout the game, and it provides the reagents for Blacksmithing, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting. These are found using a miner’s most basic ability: Find Minerals, which indicates spawns on your minimap.
Mining can also be quite profitable by either selling stacks of ore, or by turning the ore into bars through the process of Smelting and selling stacks of the bars.
No matter what it’s used for, Mining is a suitable gathering profession for any class, so long as the benefits make sense for your play style.
Trainers in any capital city will be able to train you from Apprentice through Artisan Mining. All you need to do is grab a Mining Pick from a supplies vendor and get going.
Once you reach Outland, your Master Mining trainers will be among the other profession trainers in your faction’s first quest area. So, the Alliance will speak with Hurnak Grimmord, and the Horde will need to find Krugosh in Thrallmar.
To level gathering professions, the process usually involves completing rings around the outside of any given zone. These are referred to as “circuits”. In the guide below, unless otherwise specified, the most optimal route to take will be completing a circuit around the given zone.
1 – 65: Copper Vein
You’ll begin by mining Copper Veins. These can be found abundantly near any starting area.
After you’ve reached skill 65, you can stop mining Copper. You should learn Journeyman before continuing.
65 – 125: Tin Vein
To collect Tin, players in the Eastern Kingdoms can continue on to Loch Modan, Silverpine Forest, Ghostlands, or Duskwood. For those in Kalimdor, Darkshore, Ashenvale, and Stonetalon Mountains will all provide ample nodes.
Once you’ve mined enough Tin, return to a trainer and become an Expert Miner.
125 – 160: Iron Deposit
In the Eastern Kingdoms, Iron is noticeably easier to gather than on Kalimdor. The most densely populated zone is Arathi Highlands, or you can remain in Duskwood, and in addition to your standard circuit, make another ring around The Twilight Grove. In Kalimdor you can stay in Stonetalon Mountains or move to Desolace or Thousand Needles.
160 – 175: Gold Vein
To strike gold, you’ll need to look close to Iron Deposits. This means no matter what continent you’re on, you can continue using the same routes you used to gather Iron. For those in the Eastern Kingdoms, you can also switch zones to either the Badlands or Alterac Mountains. And in the Stonetalon Mountains, focus your efforts around the Charred Vale.
175 – 225: Mithril Deposit
For those in the Eastern Kingdoms, you can still remain in Arathi Highlands to finish this step out. Mithril Deposits should spawn plentifully along the same circuit you’ve been using. Otherwise, the Burning Steppes is the next most dependable zone followed by Badlands. In Kalimdor, both Tanaris and Azshara should have enough nodes to get you to Artisan. But, going forward, it’s recommended that you head to the Eastern Kingdoms.
When you mine enough Mithril to reach skill level 225, you can learn Artisan Mining from a trainer.
225 – 230: Mithril Deposit
Once you’ve learned Artisan, resume your Mithril routes from earlier until you reach 230.
230 – 250: Truesilver Deposit
Plainly put, it’s easiest to find Truesilver in the Eastern Kingdoms. Players who have been farming in Arathi Highlands can still remain there and can continue using the same circuit as before. Those in the Burning Steppes and Badlands can do the same. On Kalimdor, Truesilver is scarce. There are nodes along the western most ridges in Tanaris and scattered throughout Winterspring, but it’s easiest to find them in the Easern Kingdoms.
There are two primary types of Thorium Veins: Small and Rich. You’ll begin by gathering Small Veins, and once you reach 275, you should focus your attention primarily on Rich Veins. While Thorium can be found by making circuits in Tanaris, Un’Goro Crater, and Silithus, it is still advisable to farm in the Eastern Kingdoms. Both the Burning Steppes and Badlands have double to quadruple the amount of node spawns as zones in Kalimdor.
After collecting enough Thorium, you can cross through the Dark Portal and become a Master Miner.
300 – 330: Fel Iron Deposit
Once you’re in Outland, competition for veins will become tougher, as there are fewer zones and flying mounts decrease the time it takes to reach nodes. Fel Iron can be found by making circuits in any zone, but the two most advisable are Hellfire Peninsula and Terokkar Forest. Hellfire is useful because it has the highest number of node spawns, and Terokkar is especially worthwhile for power leveling because you can quickly move to Nagrad to start collecting Adamantite.
Adamantite is rarer than Fel Iron, and it will be the last mineral you’ll need to gather to cap. Like Thorium, there are two types of: standard and Rich. And, like the previous Rich veins, there is a difference of 25 skill levels between when you can gather normal and Rich deposits.
To efficiently collect both, however, the optimal zone is Nagrad. Making complete circuits around Nagrand should be enough to reach 350, but once you start looking for Rich Deposits specifically, you’ll need to focus your route. The nodes effectively spawn in a ring, and you should be able to streamline your hunt if you make a circle passing through Sunspring Post, down to the encampment just south of Forge Camp Fear, continue around Oshu’Gun to Telaar, south to Kil’Sorrow Fortress, and then following the eastern border of the zone up through Burning Blade Ruins — eventually passing through Garadar and returning to Sunspring.
Endgame Nodes (Khorium and Eternium)
The nodes to gater it are Khorium Vein, which can be found in all zones of Outlands. To farm most effectively, however, the two most advisable zones are Nagrad and the Isle of Quel’Danas. While Khorium technically spawns the most in Zangarmarsh, the size of the zone makes it ineffective to farm in.
Instead, in Nagrand, widen your Rich Adamantite route to include Twilight Ridge and make sure to pass by the Ring of Trials. Otherwise, the route is virtually similar. The Isle of Quel’Danas is particularly useful to visit because of its small size. Though there are fewer veins here than some other zones, completing a circuit around takes a fraction of the time.
Eternium Ore is a rare drop available from all nodes throughout Outlands. Out of these, however, higher level deposits, like Khorium Vein, Adamantite Deposit, and Rich Adamantite Deposit all have a shared, highest drop chance. Because of this, farming for Eternium specifically is a futile task. Instead, it’s advisable to choose between the other minerals you’d like to farm, and then invest a solid amount of time into it. That way, you’ll surely find some Eternium.