Motherlode Mine

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Motherlode Mine
Motherlode Mine.png
Released24 April 2014 (Update)
MembersYes
Floors2
LocationDwarven Mine (Asgarnia)
InhabitantsHumans, Dwarves
TeleportsSkills necklace (Mining Guild)
Map
Dwarven Mine map.png
Advanced data
Typedungeon
Audio options icon.png
Pick & Shovel
The music which plays when inside the mine

The Motherlode Mine is a members-only Mining training area located in the Dwarven Mine, popular for offering low-intensity Mining training. Level 30 Mining is required to mine on the lower level, and level 72 Mining is required for the upper level, after it is unlocked. Neither of these requirements can be boosted. While a pickaxe is not required to enter the mine, as other players and miners may remove the rockfalls that block the area, bringing one is strongly recommended to avoid relying on others for passage.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

There are several ways to access the mine:

  • The quickest way to reach the mine is to use the Skills necklace teleport to the Mining Guild, which will put you just south-west of the entrance. 60 Mining is not required to enter with this method.
  • Players can also enter the Dwarven Mine via the house in north-eastern Falador, east of the Falador Party Room. Taking the stairs will put players just north of a cave entrance to the mine.
  • Players with 60 Mining can enter the Mining Guild directly and run east until they see a cave entrance.
  • Finally, players can enter the Dwarven Mine via the camp south of Ice Mountain, and walk southeast to the northern entrance.

Features[edit | edit source]

Ore veins[edit | edit source]

Scattered throughout the lower level of the mine are ore veins, which can be mined for pay-dirt, yielding 60 Mining experience each. These veins have a 33% chance of depleting each time an ore is mined, thus giving an expected 3 pay-dirt per vein.[1]

The veins also have a chance to give uncut gems. When a gem is mined, no additional experience is given for the gem; this means that each gem mined comes out to 60 less experience per inventory. The amulet of glory's mining effect can be used to increase the chance of receiving a gem, however, to maximise experience, wearing the amulet of glory is not recommended as it decreases overall experience earned per hour.

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Players looking for AFK sources of clue scrolls should be aware that Clue geodes cannot be obtained in the mine.

Upper level[edit | edit source]

For a one-time fee of 100 golden nuggets paid to Prospector Percy, players with a base level of 72 Mining can unlock the upper level. In addition to offering 64 ore veins, all clustered much closer together than the ores on the lower level, the upper level is closer to the bank and hopper. Additionally, the ore veins on the upper level are time-based and shareable with others, rather than having a flat chance of depleting: the ore vein will deplete after 15-27 seconds have elapsed from the first successfully mined pay-dirt.[2]

Due to the ore vein timer starting after the first ore is mined, mining veins on low population worlds that are not in use by other players will provide more consistent timings and require less effort.

Water circuit[edit | edit source]

A player using a hammer to fix a waterwheel.

At the centre of the mine is a water circuit that connects a hopper to a sack. Players can deposit pay-dirt into the hopper to send it to the sack for cleaning via the water circuit.

The circuit is powered by two large water wheels, which sit on struts that will occasionally break. If both struts are broken, the water flow will stop entirely, and any pay-dirt that was making its way to the sack will be frozen in place until the water flow is restored. This is not player-specific, meaning anyone can repair the struts, and nobody in the mine will be able to clean pay-dirt if they're both broken. Additionally, players can still deposit even if the struts are broken, but it will not be cleaned until one of them is repaired.

The struts can be fixed using a hammer. Doing so grants Smithing experience equal to 1.5 times the player's Smithing level, which will be rewarded on successfully fixing the strut. Chance of repairing improves with a higher level, with a base chance of 12% to repair each tick at level 1 Smithing, increasing to a 27% chance each tick at level 99.[3] Hammers can be found in the crates surrounding the machine. For those who don't wish to earn Smithing experience (or just don't want to fix the struts), hopping to a different world where the strut is fixed will also work; this may take longer than repairing it, however, and is not recommended for most players.

Rockfalls[edit | edit source]

Rocks fall on certain tiles around the mine; these rockfalls block access to veins or other areas of the mine. Removing them requires a pickaxe and rewards 10 Mining experience each. If the rocks fall on a player, it will damage them for 1-4 Hitpoints.

Runite Minor and the other miners may occasionally remove these rockfalls, though they usually just mine pay-dirt. Box traps and other traps placed on the ground may be laid to temporarily prevent rockfalls from blocking a path, until the trap collapses.

Shortcut[edit | edit source]

The dark tunnel next to the bank chest is an Agility shortcut that connects the east side of the mine to the centre. It requires 54 Agility and completion of the medium Falador Diary to use.

Mining[edit | edit source]

Cleaning ores[edit | edit source]

After obtaining pay-dirt, players can deposit into the hopper to begin to clean it. Once deposited, as long as the water is flowing, the pay-dirt will make its way towards the sack, taking __ seconds, at which point players will receive bonus experience. The sack can then be searched to collect various ores and golden nuggets.

Each ore has a level requirement equal to the Mining requirement for that rock; players with 50 Mining, for example, will not receive Mithril, Adamantite, or Runite ore. Bonus experience will increase with higher mining levels, as higher-tier ores are cleaned. Average experience per pay dirt is 61.5 with at least level 85 Mining and the full Prospector kit equipped; using the ores in Smithing will bring an average of 51.125 experience per ore.

Ore Mining Level
required
Bonus
experience
GE Price
Coal inventory image Coal 30 0 154
Golden nugget inventory image Golden nugget 30 0 Untradable
Gold ore inventory image Gold ore 40 15 210
Mithril ore inventory image Mithril ore 55 30 129
Adamantite ore inventory image Adamantite ore 70 45 1,171
Runite ore inventory image Runite ore 85 75 11,224

Ore rates[edit | edit source]

The ore received from pay-dirt is based on the player's Mining level, with better ores becoming more common at higher levels. The table below shows the chance of ores at each level:

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Strangely, due to the rounding behavior of the game engine there are some levels where the golden nugget yield is slightly higher.

Ores are determined when the pay-dirt is mined, not when cleaning.[4] Thus, players wishing to boost should do so while mining, not before cleaning. Pay-dirt rolls for each ore in descending order, starting from the top tier you're eligible to get.[5] With the Falador Elite diary, the success chance to receive an ore is increased by ~1%.[6]

Deposits[edit | edit source]

The HUD displaying the amount of pay-dirt in the sack.

The hopper can hold a "soft" maximum of 81 items, (or 162 if the sack has been upgraded). Once the sack reaches capacity, a chatbox message states: "Some ore is ready to be collected from the sack. It's getting full." At this point, the hopper will not accept pay-dirt until the sack is searched and there are fewer than 81 (or 162) items in the sack. The hopper also does not allow two stacks of pay-dirt from the same player in the waterway at once.

Although players can't deposit more pay-dirt once the limit is reached, the hopper will always accept an entire inventory of pay-dirt if there is no pay-dirt in the waterway from the player, and the sack has not yet reached the maximum 81 (or 162) items. Thus, an "extra" 27 pay-dirt can be deposited into the hopper before it is cleaned by first totaling deposits to one less than the maximum (80, or 161 with the sack upgrade). Below are examples of optimal orders of deposits:

  • Regular sack:
    • 24 + 28 + 28 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt, or
    • 27 + 27 + 26 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt
  • Upgraded sack:
    • 21 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 = 189 pay-dirt, or
    • 27 + 27 + 27 + 27 + 27 + 26 + 28= 189 pay-dirt.

The most "AFK" method is to have your hammer and either your gem bag or stack of golden nuggets in your inventory, which allows you to deposit 26 pay-dirt at a time. The gem bag will negate the need to drop or bank gems. With this method, you can deposit up to 104 pay-dirt, or up to 182 with sack upgrade.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Golden nuggets can be obtained by searching the sack after cleaning pay-dirt, with each pay-dirt having a 2.74% chance of being a nugget, regardless of a player's Mining level.[7] This means that, on average, a player should receive a golden nugget every 36.5 pay-dirts cleaned.

Golden nuggets stack, and will be collected all at once when searching the sack. Once obtained, they can be used as currency at Prospector Percy's Nugget Shop:

Sells at: 100.0% • Buys at: 80.0% • Change per: 0.0%
ItemNumber
in stock
Restock
time
Price
sold at
Price
bought at
Exp boostBoost per nugget
Prospector helmet.pngProspector helmet1000.6sGolden nugget.png 40Golden nugget.png 320.4%0.010%/Golden nugget
Prospector jacket.pngProspector jacket1000.6sGolden nugget.png 60Golden nugget.png 480.8%0.013%/Golden nugget
Prospector legs.pngProspector legs1000.6sGolden nugget.png 50Golden nugget.png 400.6%0.012%/Golden nugget
Prospector boots.pngProspector boots1000.6sGolden nugget.png 30Golden nugget.png 240.2%0.007%/Golden nugget
Coal bag.pngCoal bag10.6sGolden nugget.png 100Golden nugget.png 80N/AN/A
Gem bag.pngGem bag10.6sGolden nugget.png 100Golden nugget.png 80N/AN/A
Soft clay pack.pngSoft clay pack10000.6sGolden nugget.png 10Golden nugget.png 8N/AN/A
Bag full of gems (golden nuggets).pngBag full of gems1000.6sGolden nugget.png 40Golden nugget.png 32N/AN/A

Note that bag full of gems and soft clay packs bought elsewhere cannot be resold here.


In addition to the rewards above, players can speak to Percy to gain access to the upper level (with 72 Mining), or upgrade the pay-dirt sack for one-off payments of 100 and 200 golden nuggets respectively.

Experience and efficiency[edit | edit source]

The experience and profit rates of Motherlode Mine can vary greatly based on level, the tier of pickaxe used, the amount of other players mining, and whether or not the upper floor is used. Compared to other methods, Motherlode Mine requires significantly lower effort, while still offering moderate experience and profit. Mining iron ore or granite provides significantly higher experience rates at the cost of being more click-intensive and offering no profit, as items are dropped when mining.

Players can expect the following rates, assuming the upper level is unlocked at level 72, the best possible pick is used, and the Prospector's outfit is worn as soon as possible:

Experience and profit per hour
Level Xp/hour Profit
30 13k 32,206.00
40 15k 38,885.00
50 22k 58,093.00
60 29k 74,774.00
70 35k 111,327.00
80 39k 158,643.00
90 45k 342,926.00
99 52k 506,158.00

The following table compares experience rates with other methods, with the highest rates bolded:

Mining Level Iron Ore Granite Motherlode Mine Blast Mine
31 31,500 N/A 13,106 N/A
41 42,000 N/A 15,500 N/A
61 49,350 40,410 29,260 48,000
75 52,290 48,400 38,000 58,000
85 52,290 55,490 43,000 64,400
99 70,000 125,000 52,000 79,000

While the Motherload Mine is never the most efficient method for pure experience, players planning on completing the Falador Diary should mine here from level 30 until level 64, as this will unlock the Prospector's kit, which is needed for a hard task. Players who wish to unlock the upper level will, on average, need to mine until level 68 in order to receive enough golden nuggets for the full outfit and the upper level fee.

On average, players will need to mine 17,519 pay-dirt to unlock the upper level, upgraded bag, and complete Prospector's kit. Depending on the order in which the outfit pieces are purchased, this will reward somewhere between 1,068,000 and 1,077,000 experience, placing the player somewhere between level 73 and 74 if they mine as soon as they reach level 30.

Reward Order[edit | edit source]

Players looking to purchase efficiently should obtain outfit pieces in order of what has the highest bonus per nugget. The best order is jacket, legs, helmet, and then boots. Gem and coal bags can be useful depending on how you mine; if you're going for gems, an amulet of glory should be worn alongside a gem bag to maximise gems without reducing experience rates. Expanding the sack size should always be done last, as the increased rate of experience from a larger sack is negligible compared to the kit rewards and the experience of the upper level.

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
13 July 2022
(update)

The upstairs ore veins no longer need to be completely depleted to start their respawn timer.

Date unknown

The Medium Falador Diary no longer provides any increased chance of receiving higher ores when cleaning pay dirt.[8]

31 October 2019
(update)

The clickzone of the top of the ladder in Motherlode Mine has been improved.

23 February 2017
(update | poll)
  • For the price of 200 Nuggets, you can now double the capacity of the pay-dirt sack in Motherlode Mine by speaking to Prospector Percy.
  • The HUD shown while in the Motherlode mine now displays how much Pay-dirt is in the Pay-dirt Sack.
  • The Ore veins found on the upper level of the Motherlode Mine now disappear a random period of time after they are first mined, rather than depleting faster if multiple people are mining them.
30 April 2015
(update)

Pets now follow you up and down the Motherlode Mine's ladder.

23 April 2015
(update)

The Motherlode Mine's ladder has had its click-zone changed to help players click the correct end of it.

9 April 2015
(update | poll)

An expansion of the Motherlode Mine with a brand new upstairs area can be accessed by players with over 72 mining that have paid Percy a one-time fee of 100 nuggets.

5 March 2015
(update | poll)
1 May 2014
(update)

Dwarves no longer deplete pay-dirt veins and when a vein is depleted the "empty rock" sound will play to all the adjacent players. The rate at which ore respawns has also been increased slightly.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Some falling rocks wearing party hats during Christmas.
  • The rockfalls share the same model as the pet rock when they fall from the ceiling. As a result, the falling rocks wear party hats during Christmas.
  • When a player climbs up the ladder, the player character does not actually move up a plane in the game; rather, the terrain on the upper level is simply raised up from the ground on the plane the player character is standing on, so the player will be able to see other players and NPCs on both levels. This is similar to the mechanics in Castle Wars.
  • There are several popular culture and community references within the Motherlode Mine:
    • On the western side of the mine, there is an NPC named Runite Minor, who is named after the designer of the Motherlode Mine and winner of the 2014 Player Designed Content.
    • In the middle of Prospector Percy's machine, there is a baby mole with the examine text "Mooooooooooooole", a reference to a scene from the film Austin Powers in Goldmember.
    • Prospector Percy's appearance and examine text are references to the character Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2.
    • The miner in the north-eastern corner of the mine has examine text that reads "Secretly, he'd like to rescue princesses and eat mushrooms", a reference to the Mario video game franchise as the miners share a similar appearance to its titular character.
    • A miner in the south-western corner reveals that "he became a miner after his agoraphobia stopped him doing Sailing", a reference to the supposed Sailing skill.
    • A miner along the east wall's examine text reads "He could have been a great ballet dancer if they'd let him try." This is a reference to the film Billy Elliot, about a father's expectations for his son to be a miner, and not to follow his dreams of being a dancer.
    • A miner on the eastern side has the examine text “professional miners don’t actually whistle while they work” which is a reference to Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • The machine Prospector Percy built to wash the pay-dirt is a cheap knockoff of the machine used in the Lovakengj blast mine. According to the operators, the design is a secret, and those who try to copy it would "never get it quite right" and "their machine would break down all the time", referencing the fact that the struts on the water wheel often break.
  • If all the ores are collected from 85 to 99 Mining at Motherlode Mine, it will average out to 6,344,981 Smithing experience.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Mod Ash. "Shift-Click Drop & QoL." 23-Feb-2017 11:09:04. (Archived from the original on 28 August 2021.) Old School Announcements Forums.
  2. ^ Mod Ash. "General QoL!." 09-Mar-2017 13:06:57. (Archived from the original on 28 August 2021.) Old School Announcements Forums.
  3. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 5 April 2022. (Archived from the original on 5 April 2022.) Mod Ash: "Yes, it's based on Smithing. 12% at level 1, 27% at level 99 for each roll."
  4. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 8 June 2015. (Archived from the original on 1 December 2019.) Mod Ash: "When it is mined. It'd stay as runite even if your level drops before you clean it."
  5. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 22 June 2022. (Archived from the original on 22 July 2022.)
  6. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 13 June 2022. (Archived from the original on 22 July 2022.)
  7. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 8 June 2015. (Archived from the original on 29 May 2020.) Mod Ash: "Sorry, I just rechecked. It's actually a flat rate of 2.74% at all levels for a paydirt to become a gold nugget."
  8. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 15 March 2020. (Archived from the original on 15 March 2020.) Mod Ash: "There's just one buff to pay-dirt, and it's for the elite diary only. This matches what the diary master says if asked."