Introduction: Mining Ores (and Other Materials) in Minecraft

Picture of Mining Ores (and Other Materials) in Minecraft

Minecraft wouldn't be what it was without mining! In this Instructable I go over all the different ores and special resources you can mine in the game and what awesome things you can do with them!

Step 1: Furnace and Smelting

Picture of Furnace and Smelting

In order to craft some things, you will need to smelt an ore into an ingot. To smelt you need to build a furnace out of 8 cobblestone.

To smelt with the furnace, first place it like you would a crafting table. To use, put the ore you want to smelt in the top spot and a fuel in the bottom spot (fuels can include coal, charcoal, wood and a bucket of lava). The ingot you create will show up on the right.

Step 2: Coal

Picture of Coal

Facts about Coal:

  • Most common ore
  • Must be mined with a pickaxe, but it can be mined with just a wooden one
  • Used for fuel in furnace
  • When you destroy the coal ore block you will get a piece of coal
  • Can be found at any level in the world as long as there is stone for it to form next to

Crafting with Coal:

  • 9 Coal = 1 Coal Block and vice versa
  • 1 Coal + 1 Stick = 4 Torches
  • 1 Coal + 1 Gunpowder + Blaze = Fire Charge

Step 3: Iron

Picture of Iron

Facts about Iron:

  • Use a stone pickaxe or better to mine
  • When destroyed with drop the iron ore block
  • Will appear in levels 63 (1 block above sea level) and lower.
  • Use it as with any material to make Iron tools and weapons
  • Use it as with any material to make Iron armor
  • Smelt Iron Ore to get Iron Ingots

Crafting with Iron:

  • 9 Iron Ingots = 1 Block of Iron and vice versa
  • 3 Iron Ingots in a "V" = Iron bucket
  • 2 Iron Ingots diagonal from each other = Shears
  • 1 Iron Ingot + 1 Flint = Flit and Steal (for starting fires)
  • 5 Iron Ingots in a "U" = Minecart
  • 6 Iron Ingots + 1 Stick = 16 Rails
  • 6 Iron Ingots + 1 Redstone Torch in the center + 2 Sticks above and below the torch = 6 Activator Rail
  • 6 Iron Ingots + 1 Redstone + 1 Stone Pressure Plate = 6 Detector Rail
  • 7 Iron Ingots in a big "U" = Cauldron
  • 4 Iron Ingots + 1 Redstone = Compass
  • 3 Iron Blocks + 4 Iron Ingots below = Anvil
  • 5 Iron Ingots + Chest = Hopper
  • 6 Iron Ingots (in 2 columns) = 1 Iron Door
  • 6 Iron Ingots (in 2 rows) = 16 Iron Bars
  • 2 Iron Ingots = Weighted Pressure Plate
  • 1 Iron Ingot + 6 Wooden Planks + 4 Cobblestone + 1 Redstone = Piston
  • 1 Iron Ingot + 1 Stick + 1 Wooden Plank = Tripwire Hook

6 Iron Ingots (in 2 rows, top and bottom + 3 Diamonds) = Nether Core Reactor

Step 4: Gold

Picture of Gold

Facts about Gold:

  • Mine it with iron pickax or better
  • When mined, will drop one gold ore block
  • Appears in bottom 32 layers of the world
  • Use it as with any material to make golden tools and weapons
  • Use it as with any material to make golden armor
  • When used to make tools is very strong (can mine fast) but not very durable (will break quicker)
  • Smelt gold ore to get Gold Ingots

Crafting with Gold:

  • Craft 1 gold ingot = 9 gold nuggets and vice versa
  • Craft 9 gold ingots = 1 gold block and vice versa
  • Craft 4 iron ingots (in each edge middle) + red stone in the center = clock
  • 8 gold ingots surrounding 1 apple = 1 golden apple
  • 8 gold blocks surrounding 1 apple = enchanted golden apple
  • 8 gold nuggets surrounding 1 carrot = 1 gold carrot
  • 8 gold nuggets surrounding 1 melon slice = glistening melon

Step 5: Lapis Lazuli

Picture of Lapis Lazuli

Facts about Lapis Lazuli:

  • Mine with a Iron pickaxe or better
  • Lapis Lazuli Ore will drop 4 or more pieces when mined
  • Found in layers 31 and lower in the game
  • Is a primary dye
  • Apply to sheep to dye them
  • Apply to tamed wolves to dye their collars
  • Can be used to dye leather armor

Crafting with Lapis Lazuli:

  • 9 pieces = 1 lapis lazuli block and vice versa
  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 wool = 1 blue wool
  • 8 blocks of Hardened Clay + 1 lapis lazuli = 8 Blue Stained Clay
  • 8 Glass Blocks + 1 lapis lazuli = 9 Blue Stained Glass

Dye Combinations (when you mix dye with another dye you will get an outcome with an equal amount of dye):

  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 green dye = 2 cyan dye
  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 bone meal = 2 light blue dye
  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 bone meal + 2 red rose = 4 magenta dye
  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 pink dye + 1 rose red = 3 magenta dye
  • 1 Lapis Lazuli + 1 rose red = 2 Purple Dye

Step 6: Diamond

Picture of Diamond

Facts about Diamonds

  • Use a Iron pickax or better to mine
  • Drops 1 Diamond gem when mined
  • Found in layers 15 and lower in the world
  • Use it as with any material to make diamond tools and weapons
  • Use it as with any material to make diamond armor

Crafting with Diamonds:

  • Craft 9 gems = 1 diamond block and vice versa
  • Craft 8 wood plans surrounding 1 diamond gem = Jukebox
  • Craft 1 book + 2 diamond gems + 4 blocks of obsidian = Enchantment Table
  • Craft 3 diamond gems + 6 iron ingots = Nether Reactor Core - in Pocket Edition (PE) only

Step 7: Redstone

Picture of Redstone

Facts about Redstone:

  • Mine with an Iron pickaxe or better
  • Mining Redstone ore will drop multiple Redstone
  • Found in layers 16 and lower in the world
  • Used as a potion ingredient in brewing
  • When it is placed it becomes Redstone Dust and is used to create circuits
  • Redstone dust will be dark in color when it has no power running through it, and will turn bright red when powered

Crafting with Redstone:

  • 9 Redstone = 1 Redstone Box and vice versa
  • 1 Redstone + 1 Stick = Redstone Torch
  • 1 Redstone + 4 Iron Ingots = Compass
  • 1 Redstone + 4 Gold Ingots = Clock
  • 1 Redstone + 1 Stone Pressure Plate + 6 Iron Ingots = Detector Rail
  • 1 Redstone + 6 Gold Ingots + 1 Stick = Powered Rail
  • 1 Redstone + 3 Stones + 2 Redstone Torch = Redstone Repeater
  • 1 Redstone + 7 Cobblestone + 1 Bow = Dispenser
  • 1 Redstone + 7 Cobblestone = Dropper
  • 1 Redstone + 8 Wooden Planks around it = Note Block
  • 1 Redstone + 4 Cobblestone + 1 Iron Ingot + 3 Wood Planks = Piston
  • 4 Redstone + 1 Glowstone = Redstone Lamp

Step 8: Obsidian

Picture of Obsidian

Facts about Obsidian:

  • Can only be mined by a Diamond Pickaxe
  • Is the second toughest block in the game next to Bedrock
  • Is immune to almost all explosions
  • Instead of just forming in the game, it is formed by the environment in the game: it is created when flowing water hits a lava source block
  • Is not formed from lava hitting water, that creates cobblestone
  • Since it is created by water flowing into lava, even if you are able to clear the lava from on top, there will probably be some underneath making it difficult to mine. If you mine the obsidian and there is lava underneath, it will destroy the piece of obsidian you just mined.
  • Used to create a Nether Portal to go to the Nether - made by making a standing 4 by 5 obsidian rectangle and then igniting the center with Flint and Steel (this will create a see through purple haze)
  • Obsidian can't be moved by pistons

Crafting with Obsidian:

  • 4 Obsidian blocks + 1 book + 2 Diamonds = Enchantment Table
  • 3 Obsidian blocks + 5 Blocks of Glass + Nether Star = Beacon
  • 8 Obsidian blocks + Eye of Ender = Ender Chest : acts like a normal chest for storage, except you can access contents of one Ender Chest from another

Mining Obsidian: You will, undoubtedly, develop your own technique for mining obsidian, but I wanted to share one way I have tackled it. (I've put notes on the pictures to help.)

  1. Block off water and lava flows (keeps you safe), you can even completely stop flows if you find where the source is and block it off with a block of stone.
  2. Find the edge of the obsidian and dig down. (Your goal is to work your way around the Obsidian "lake" and put cobblestone below the obsidian blocks before mining them.)
  3. Once you get around the edge of the obsidian, try to dig down so you can get to the blocks below the obsidian.
  4. Once you are there, destroy the block on the edge that reveals the lava under the obsidian.
  5. Place cobblestone under the obsidian block you want to mine.
  6. Go ahead and mine that obsidian.
  7. Repeat (this takes a long time, but you guarantee you won't destroy the blocks in the lava this way)

Step 9: Create Your Own Obsidian

Picture of Create Your Own Obsidian

If you don't want to venture underground looking for places obsidian has formed, you can create your own!

  1. First you have to find a lava lake (not a lava fall, that won't help you here, it needs to be standing lava).
  2. Go to one edge and create a little indent, it only needs to be one block (I did three blocks) (you don't have to create an indent, but if you do, you can control the flow of the lava, if you just drop it near the edge it will go everywhere).
  3. Drop your bucket of water so it flows into the lava.
  4. Once it has spread out as far as it is going to go, either pick the water source back up or block it off so it stops flowing.
  5. You have created a obsidian block.
  6. You will still probably have lava below it so take your time and carefully mine it all out.

Step 10: Emerald

Picture of Emerald

Facts about Emeralds:

  • Used as a currency in the game, you can usually trade with villagers for them
  • Unlike other ores, they can only be naturally found in Extreme Hill Biomes
  • Shows up between levels 4 and 32 of the world
  • Use an iron or diamond pickax to mine
  • Each ore drops one emerald
  • Cannot be used to make tools or armor

Crafting with Emeralds

  • Can only be crafted to make a Emerald block and vice versa

Step 11: Tools and Armor

Picture of Tools and Armor

Out of all the ores, you can only make weapons, tools and armor out of Iron, Gold and Diamond. They all have different durability and strength, and are crafted the same for each ore.

Crafting Ore Tools (Stone, Iron, Diamond, and Gold shown; can also be made from cobblestone and wooden planks):

  • 1 Ore + 2 Sticks = Shovel
  • 3 Ores + 2 Sticks = Ax
  • 3 Ores + 2 Sticks = Pickaxe
  • 2 Ores + 1 Stick = Sword
  • 2 Ores + 2 Sticks = Hoe

Crafting Armor (Iron, Diamond and Gold shown; can also be crafted from leather and can be found made of chain):

  • 5 Ores (in an upside down "U") = Helmet
  • 8 Ores (in all spots but top middle) = Chestplate
  • 7 Ores (in large upside down "U") = Leggings
  • 4 Ores (in two little columns) = Boots

Step 12: More Minecraft

Picture of More Minecraft

Comments

aydsamuelson (author)2017-02-07

Can you find rubys in PS4 minecraft without mods?:)

Hudsonwkortus (author)2016-11-18

I play minecraft PE and I can't find villagers. Are they in PE?

Yes, villages and villagers should be in the PE edition. I'm not sure how hard they are to find though.

benny blue boo (author)2014-05-07

Hey I want cool minecraft mining stuff. Go to the seed bennyblueboo go to level 11 and mine out the area. I got 64 64 64 diamonds in a day

acoleman3 (author)benny blue boo2014-05-09

coords of said aria?

benny blue boo (author)acoleman32016-10-15

Bit late but just below your spawn

Omg this was 2 years ago and I read this piece of cringe today. Man that was basically the last time I played Minecraft, I'm even in a different country now :)

GavinTGM (author)2015-06-25

What's the highest update for minecraft on Xbox 360?

Unfortunetly, I only play on PC so I'm not sure :(

yes, pc is boss!!

HLightning11 (author)2016-02-25

the top pic is inaccurate. Emeralds only spawn in veins of one...

The Emeralds were added to the sceen so I could show off all the ores in the same picture.

DaMidas (author)2015-09-28

What is the seed for the map that you took pics from?

Penolopy Bulnick (author)DaMidas2015-09-29

I'm sorry, but I don't think I have that game saved anymore :(

DaMidas (author)Penolopy Bulnick2015-10-28

It okay. :)

DaMidas (author)Penolopy Bulnick2015-10-07

It's ok.

Mr Robot (author)2015-07-21

Obsidian isn't an ore but Nether-Quartz is and you forgot to mention it do replace obsidian with Nether-Quartz.

I guess I concentrated on things that you could mine (in general) in the Overworld. I haven't really had a chance to explore the Nether.

Austydude (author)2014-07-19

Penolopy i find redstone at the bottom of the world!

That's awesome!

KronoNaut (author)2015-02-08

Wonderful tutorial. I would suggest for anyone mining obsidian to place water in the space where the first piece mined was, By standing in that when you mine you are protected from burning.

Nice tip!

Minecrafter18 (author)2014-06-21

thanks for writing this! Good tip: DON'T waste your gold on weapons, tools, or armor, it is a waste, as gold is not a hard metal.

MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (author)2014-05-28

lapis lazuli can be mined with a stone pickaxe

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-05-15

Yep! I mentioned that in the Obsidian Step :) Thanks for taking a look!

SirMac27 (author)2014-05-13

What I've come to like about this game it's just a huge sandbox style game. I can do whatever I want, no time-limit, and not worry about missing an objective. Right now, I've gone about digging as deep as I have been able to and found my first obsidian, dug it up and built my first portal. It's a game I'm constantly thinking about what I want to build, how I want to build it.

Thanks for posting the minerals list, it has been most helpful.

Thanks for taking a look! I just love the game :D

fixfireleo (author)2014-05-08

i'm a gamer but never played minecraft. i just dont get it. the graphics are horrible. what is the attraction? if you want to try a really awesome, and inexpensive older game, try Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic. it was on sale on gamefly this week for like $4. it's a RPG game.

G-Vicarey (author)fixfireleo2014-05-11

I believe the attraction is the "anything can happen" factor. Players can build anything. If Minecraft doesn't do what a player want there's most likely a mod for it.

One of the biggest draws for me is the fact that the modding community for the game is so large. Minecraft is by far the most modular game I have ever played. Don't like something? There's probably a mod to change it. Want to play with magic? There's a mod for that. Rather play with nuclear reactors? There's a mod for that.

In other words, there is so much player-made content for the game that is very easily accessible that it is nearly impossible to run out of things to do. If you get bored with the initial game, slap some mods on and you get a completely different experience!

that's cool. i can understand that. i dont usually do a lot of mods and rarely use cheat codes but i'm not someone who plays hardcore either. like in WOW, i never really raid, so people make fun of me for not having top of the line gear. i just play for the story and quests. thanks for explaining it to me and not being all offended by the question like some people were. :)

Ro-mico (author)fixfireleo2014-05-09

The appeal of Minecraft is that is basically "Lego World" where you can play in it, a sandbox game. You might think that the graphics are horrible because they're boxels, but in a way they're pixel art in 3D space. People love pixel art. ;-)

At first I was like you, I didn't like the way it looked, and It wasn't that thrilling to me the first time I try it. Then my brother started playing it with his son and asked me if I wanted to join them. It was in that moment that it started to get fun because we didn't know how to do stuff, we were learning as we played. One of the things that gets confusing at the beginning is that there's nothing to tell you how to play it, and that is another thing that appeals to people, the game is not babysitting you.

By the way, I'm re-playing Star Wars Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast. That game was awesome and still is.

PhthaloBlue (author)fixfireleo2014-05-08

Minecraft's appeal for me is that it can be anything you want it to be. Single-player survival. Multiplayer co-op or versus. Building simulator. RPG/adventure game. Plenty more. If "the graphics are horrible" is your single hang-up there are texture packs that are easily installed that enhance the look and feel of the game to what you are more likely to enjoy. Also, while your endorsement of KOTOR was unsolicitied, I'll agree that it's a fun RPG for any Star Wars fan.

fixfireleo (author)PhthaloBlue2014-05-08

so basically it's just a sandbox game?

PhthaloBlue (author)fixfireleo2014-05-09

"Basically a sandbox" is sort of paradoxical, but yes, that's what it is.

a.steidl (author)fixfireleo2014-05-09

Pretty much.

acoleman3 (author)fixfireleo2014-05-09

that's *exactly* what it is. an indi sandbox game. funny thing is the developer made it as an entry for ludam dare and it became so popular that he got a team together and developed it into a production game.

Yeah, I just love building and decorating and Minecraft is just made for that! It is so open, you can do anything :)

kaneda26 (author)fixfireleo2014-05-08

If you are really a gamer then you can appreciate that graphics don't matter if the game is fun. If you enjoyed playing with Lego blocks as a kid, then you'd probably find lots to like with Minecraft. It's a game about survival, exploration, and building that's lots of fun with other people. It is also has one of the largest modding communities of any game currently played. There is a reason that it has sold over 25 million copies. You should reserve judgment and just tried it for yourself.

fixfireleo (author)kaneda262014-05-09

ok, so it's more of a social game? i play some world or warcraft but it doesnt keep my interest because i personally find on-line games to be lacking in both graphics and plot. i prefer games where i can select dialogue responses, where my choices reflect how the plot unfolds and how my companions act and with very real looking graphics such as the dragon age games, oblivion/skyrim, mass effect series, fallout games, etc.

i wasnt trying to be critical, i was just offering my opinion and ASKING what i was missing?

AmyLuthien (author)fixfireleo2014-05-09

Actually the graphics are not terrible, what you're complaining about is the style. If you don't like that particular style, there are lots of texture packs you can install (for free) to the change the look of things if you prefer. You might want to give Minecraft a try sometime, especially before passing judgement on it and attempting to suggest other games as a replacement for it that are not even comparable. ;)

Farrelbark (author)fixfireleo2014-05-08

Some folks enjoy the pixel-oriented stuff....

CraftinGenious (author)2014-05-07

Lol! Imagine finding that ravine on your first day xD

acoleman3 (author)CraftinGenious2014-05-09

i've found one pretty damn close. only thing missing was emeralds. it was long and everything was spread out, but they were there. it was mostly iron and coal though, but i didn't mind! i was hurtin for armour and you can never have enough coal.

That would be pretty spectacular!

acoleman3 (author)2014-05-09

hmm....you've given me the inspiration to document my mining technique and post my own ible. i branch mine, but there's a lot of particulars i do that make my mines the most organized, tidy and easily navigable....according to everyone who's seen them.

ronanry (author)2014-05-08

A better way to mine obsidian is to put water on top of it and let it in place while digging... The water will flow on the lava and make obsidian before the block you break fall in the lava

creaky (author)2014-05-08

I would add charcoal to your instructable as it may be the easiest way to get torches early in the game. Good instructable.

billbillt (author)2014-05-08

cool

nodcah (author)2014-05-06

Nice 'ible! Also, (in the newer updates) Lapis Lazuli is required for enchanting. A helpful crafting guide though!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)nodcah2014-05-07

Thanks for letting me know :) I have yet to play around with enchanting.

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