Mining Ores (and Other Materials) in Minecraft




Introduction: Mining Ores (and Other Materials) in Minecraft

About: Community Manager for Instructables and Tinkercad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Because Minecraft can have amazing graphics and is the best selling game in the world.

    minecraft g0d2
    minecraft g0d2

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks for your opinion but...WHAT THE HECK DUDE MINECRAFT IS AWESOME


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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. ;)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    1 year ago

    um with gold u can drop it and trad with piglins\

    minecraft g0d2
    minecraft g0d2

    Tip 1 year ago

    can u post ible on piglins plz


    Reply 1 year ago

    If this thing was made back when NETHER REACTORS STILL EXISTED, I don't think it will have anything on piglins m8, and before yours, the last comment was from 7 years ago.