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World of Warcraft Mining Guide
The World of Warcraft Cataclysm Mining Guide

This in an ancient, out of date page.

A mining guide on the main site might be updated. See it here

This page has been updated for Cataclysm

Mining is a great little money maker and is easy to level. Several professions demand ores and the bars that miners can create from those ores. Both items sell well on the Auction House.

Smelting is the process of making your ores into bars and doing so will increase your mining skill. Gather 40 pieces of copper ore and then smelt them. You can do the same with most of the other ores, as well. It's perfectly possible to level your mining to the max ranks by buying each of the various ores off the Auction House and then smelting them into bars. This is expensive, but it can be done.



Mining Notes:

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Who needs Mining?
  • Miners looking for ores to smelt into bars
  • Jewelcrafters looking for ores to prospect (to find gems)
  • Blacksmiths need bars to level their profession.
  • Engineers use them for all kinds of gadgets
  • Auction house traders who will sometimes buy out your ores (if you price too low) to resell at a higher price.

Ores prefer some shape to their terrain. In any given zone travel along the edge of the hills and mountains. Skip the flat areas, ores rarely appear there. Sometimes you'll find nodes underwater.

One thing, you'll want a (flying) mount for leveling up mining, It's painful otherwise, especially at the higher skill levels where the nodes are spaced out across the entire map making gaining skill tedious.

Mining now provides XP. The higher the level of the node the more XP is provided. Nodes that are gray to you might also provide XP, depending on your level, your skill level, and the node's level.

If you are in a group the XP is split among the group, just like the XP from mob mashing.

Mining and Smelting

When you pick up your Mining skill you will also get Smelting. With Smelting you turn the raw ore into usable bars. Smelting ore into bars will also level your mining skill. It's entirely possbile to leveling your mining skill from nothing to the level cap just by smelting ores. Buy the ore off the Auction House (or from other players) and smelt away.

Just be sure to keep upgrading your skill so that you can be smelting ores that will actually level your skill.

Where's the ore? A general rule of thumb is "anywhere the terrain isn't flat." Hill, mountains, ravines, boulder piles, etc.


Mining from 1 to 525

Type of Ore Min. skill to mine Where to mine:

1-75, Apprentice Mining, Requires level 1, Train up at 50+

All the starting zones, except Teldrassil
Ashenvale, Redridge mtns. , all the high teen to low 20s zones. Try to get your skill to 100 with Tin and Silver before moving on to Iron. Train up at 50+
Quest only
This used to be a good ore to mine to get your skill up (from 50,) but it's now a quest item and cannot be used to level your mining.
N. Stranglethorn and other lev. 20 zones.


76-150, Journeyman Mining, Requires level 1, Train up at 125+

Feralas, Desolace, E & W Plaguelands, other level 30-39 zones. Get your skill to 150 with Iron and Gold before moving on to Mithril. Train up at 125+
Same areas as Iron
Thousand Needles, Badlands, Burning Steppes, Searing Gorge, other areas of the same level. Train to at least 200 skill before moving onward.


151-225, Expert Mining, Requires level 10, Train up at 200+

Winterspring, Un'Goro Crater, and otherwise the same as Mithril
Winterspring, Silithus, other level 50ish areas
Same as Thorium. Get to at least 275 skill before moving on. Also, train up at 275.


226-300, Artisan Mining, Requires level 25, Train up at 275+

Hellfire Peninsula and most Outlands areas. Get to at least 325 before moving on.
Optional ore. it has no value other than as a hand in for part of the Netherdrake quests. Find it in the floating islands off the southern edge of Shadowmoon Valley.


301-375, Master Mining, Requires level 40, Train up at 350+

Nagrand and higher Outlands zones. Make sure you're at least 350 before moving on. Train up at 350
Same as above.
Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and other Northrend zones. Get to at least 400 before moving on.
Outlands: Nagrand, Blade's Edge Mntns, other Outlands zones.
Same as Cobalt


376-450, GrandMaster Mining, Requires level 55, Train up at 425+

Sholazar Basin, Icecrown, other Northrend zones. Train up at 425 and you should be at least 425 before moving on.
Same as above.
Mt. Hyjal and Deepholm.
Same as Saronite


451-525, Illustrious GrandMaster Mining, Requires level 75, Train up at 425+

Deephome and the higher Cataclysm zones.
Same as above
Uldum, Twilight Highlands
Tol Barad




As your mining skill increases you will gain the skill Toughness, which is a boost to your stamina. This is from the extra exercise gained from breaking up all those ore nodes. Toughness was introduced with the 3.0 patch (Wrath of the Lich King) and has been tweaked a couple of times since.

Note: The Stamina bonus is achieved at the max of each level range.

Char. level
Train up
Skill Level
Toughness rank
Stam bonus
Illustrious Grandmaster




Mining 1-50: Copper

This part's the really easy part, it should only take around 40-50 nodes at most and they spawn like crazy all over the starting zones. Teldrassil alone has no ore, of any kind. All the other starting zones are full of the stuff.

You can get the rest of your mining points by smelting your ore into bars and you will need to hit a skill of 50 before moving beyond copper.


Humans: Humans start in my favorite mining zone, Elwynn Forest. Seriously, it's full of the stuff. Just run up to Goldshire, head along the path past the large lake and pick up what's down there, and then check out the area surrounding the Logging Camp. Just doing this should gain you almost everything you need.

Hitting the mountains at the top of the map should yield a few copper veins, as well. Generally every single ore spot will have 2-5 mobs nearby or on top. Keep a lookout for groups of mobs.

Dwarves and Gnomes: Given the general association of Dwarves with Mining you'd think the Dwarf starting area would be the best place to start, right? Well, if you did, I'm here to inform you that your intuition is correct. Although *my* favorite zone is still Elwynn Forest, Dun Morogh takes the cake as copper king.

It's rather simple here actually, just run around everywhere with the ore detector running and you'll be at 50 in no time, at which time you can train up and start mining and smelting tin.

Night Elves: Sadly for you NEs it seems that a lush forest enviroment isn't condusive to the production of precious minerals, (eg: copper,) so you'll have to head down to darkshore to start your skill gain. Once you've reached Auberdine head for the cliffs, east, and mine everything on the way.

The moonkin caves along the way generally hold 1-4 spots each, sometimes actually at the very back of the cave itself, and should get you a bit of skill before you hit the cliffs. The cliffs themselves hold a medium amount of ore, following them south will yield a good amount until you hit ashenvale. Once you've done this head west to the edge of the forest/coastal area and then north back up to Auberdine. Follow this pattern in a semi-square/circle until you hit that 50 skill.

Draenei: The Draenei areas also have plenty of ore. Just run along the hills and mountains and you'll load up in short order. Both Azuremist and Bloodmyst isles are good.

Worgen: Gilneas has a pretty fair amount of ore, as well, mainly in the southern areas, between The Blackwald and Greymane Manor, and the northest, around Emberstone mine.



Undead: Your journey to gain mining skill as undead will begin at Deathknell, this is a fairly easy zone to mine due to it's somewhat simple map design, not much in the way of big barriers, walls, annoying bugs, etc. to stop you. First thing to do is to head south following the cliffs all the way around till you hit undercity, run past as the city contains no ore, continue to follow on until you hit the Bulwark/Western Plaguelands and then north up to the scarlet monastery.

After you've hit the monastery skip around it and down to the coast, follow the coast west till you hit the cliffs again, at those cliffs head south to our starting point and loop again.

Orcs and Trolls: Orcs and Trolls have it easy, just like the Dwarves/Gnomes, it's something of a just run back and forth around the huge barren red wasteland of a starting zone with ore finding on, get stacks, make a profit.

Seriously though, like all the other zones you'll find it easy to get alot of ore by following the edges/cliffs, and durotar has a lot of edges/cliffs, and another easy path for low-levels is between orgrimmar and Sen'Jin Village(that small troll place immediately across from the valley of trials.)

Tauren: Mulgore is rather simple, it's a big flat plain with ore along the corners. Just run around the edges of the zone with ore detection on and mine everything in sight, although personally I find mulgore to be the most boring zone I must say it's also the least complicated of them all.

Blood Elves will find copper ore all over Eversong Woods. Same rules: follow the edges and hills.

Goblins will find their Copper veins all along the souith and east sides of The Lost Isles




Mining into Gold (and More)

While mining is a great little money maker there are a lot of other things you can do, beyond mining, to make tons of gold. Crafting, for one. Playing the Auction House for another. Learn it all from one of the richest players in all of WoW.


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