Motherlode Mine

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The Motherlode Mine is a members-only Mining training area located in the Dwarven Mine. At least 30 Mining is required to mine on the lower level and 72 Mining (cannot be boosted) for the upper level. A pickaxe is required to clear the obstructing rockfalls that block access to the mine's features.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

Features[edit | edit source]

Mining ore veins[edit | edit source]

A miner mining an ore vein in the Motherlode Mine.

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

The veins also have a chance to give uncut gems. The amulet of glory's mining effect can be used to increase the chance of receiving a gem.

With 72 Mining (cannot be boosted), Prospector Percy can be paid a one-time fee of 100 golden nuggets to be granted permission to the upper level of the mine, which is accessible via the ladder near the bank chest. The upper level contains 64 additional ore veins that are closer to each other compared to the lower level. The upper level veins disappear 15–27 seconds after they were first mined, rather than having a probability of becoming depleted per ore mined.[2]

Cleaning[edit | edit source]

To clean the pay-dirt, deposit it into the hopper attached to the water circuit. When deposited, the pay-dirt will flow towards the sack at the other end. The sack can be searched to collect various ores and golden nuggets. Refer to the table below for level requirements and bonus experience rates.

Note: Ores are determined when the pay-dirt is mined, NOT when cleaning.[3] Higher level ore can be obtained by using a mining boost such as a dwarven stout or the dragon pickaxe's special attack while mining,

Ore Level Bonus experience GE Price
Coal.png Coal 30 0 140
Golden nugget.png Golden nugget 30 0 N/A
Gold ore.png Gold ore 40 15 242
Mithril ore.png Mithril ore 55 30 119
Adamantite ore.png Adamantite ore 70 45 1,010
Runite ore.png Runite ore 85 75 10,982

Note: Bonus experience is awarded when the deposited pay-dirt reaches the sack, not when the pay-dirt is deposited into the hopper or when the ores are drawn from the sack.

Deposits[edit | edit source]

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

The sack can hold up to 81 pay-dirt, or 162 if the sack upgrade has been purchased from Prospector Percy for 200 golden nuggets. When this limit is reached, the player will get a message stating, "The sack is getting full." Once the sack is filled, players may no longer deposit pay-dirt in the hopper and must take some ore out of the sack before more can be deposited.

If the sack is not full, the hopper will always accept an entire inventory of pay-dirt. An extra 28 pay-dirt can be deposited into the hopper before it is cleaned by first totaling deposits to one less than the maximum, If you are mining before unlocking the bigger bag upgrade, it is possible to make 4 deposits of 26 ores instead of 3 deposits of 27/28 (if hammer is carried).

  • Regular Sack: 27 + 27 + 26 = 80. 80 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt. Alternative: 28 + 28 + 24 = 80. 80 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt.
  • Upgraded Sack: 27 + 27 + 27 + 27 + 27 + 26 = 161. 161 + 28 = 189 pay-dirt.

Fixing broken struts[edit | edit source]

A player fixing a waterwheel.

Occasionally, the struts on the water wheels will break. This event is visible to everyone and is not player-specific. If both of them are broken, the water flow will stop, and any pay-dirt that was making its way to the sack will be frozen in place until the water flow is restored.

The struts can be fixed using a hammer and grants Smithing experience equal to 1.5 times the player's Smithing level. A hammer can be found conveniently in some of the crates surrounding the machine.

Rockfalls[edit | edit source]

Occasionally, rocks may fall in certain areas of the mine, damaging any unlucky players who happen to be standing under them for a few (1-4) Hitpoints and blocking players' ways through the mine. They can be mined away for 10 experience. Runite Minor and the other miners may remove these rockfalls, though they tend to be busy mining for pay-dirt. Note: If you have a random event, talking to it on the same tick of the rockfall will nullify all damage from it.

Shortcut[edit | edit source]

There is an agility shortcut by the bank chest, connecting the east side of the mine to the centre. The shortcut requires an Agility level of 54 and completion of both the Easy Falador Achievement Diary and Medium Diary to use. The reward for the Medium diary must be accepted, which requires completion of the Easy Diary first.

Upper level[edit | edit source]

At a cost of 100 golden nuggets players with 72 Mining can unlock the upper level.

The ore vein mechanics of the upper level are different than those on the base floor. On the base floor, each time a person mines an ore from a vein there is a 1:3 chance the vein depletes. On the upper level, the vein depletes 15–27 seconds after a person first mines an ore. This means that in the upper levels, it is beneficial to share a vein.[4]

General advice[edit | edit source]

  • Use the best pickaxe that your Mining level allows
  • Use boosts while mining to receive ore from higher mining levels
  • Unlocking the upper level early on is strongly recommended:
    • The upper level is much closer to the bank and hopper. The ore veins mechanics are time-based and shareable (more AFK).
  • Players who have unlocked a Coal Bag should fill it with Coal they receive when emptying the Pay-dirt sack to empty the sack faster when using the Bank Deposit Box
  • Players without access to the upper level of the mines should unlock the agility shortcut (requires 54 Agility and completion of Falador Medium Diary)
  • If the player is mining on the upper level, it is recommended to mine at the same ores as other players, as the ores on the upper level deplete after a certain amount of time, rather than a random chance per ore mined. This increases the number of veins that are active at any given time, which increases XP rates.
  • Depleted ore sound effect: Players without access to the upper level of the mines may consider playing with Sound Effects + Area Sound Effects on at a desired audio level, if they desire to "tab out" of the game and do something else while waiting for your character to mine the veins. There is a telltale Area sound effect that plays when an ore vein becomes depleted, It is the same sound heard when prospecting: it sounds like metal scraping on metal (This may be a reused sound from a turn of the Dwarven Multicannon). Depending on whether there are nearby NPC miners or other players, having Area Sound Effects on can be confusing, because you will hear the pickaxe sound effect from yourself and other players. If you are in an area with other players or NPCs, it can therefore be helpful to play with both Sound Effects and Area Sound Effects, in order to make it a little clearer when a vein has been depleted, because both the "depleted ore" sound effect, as well as the sound effect that indicates that you have received an ore in your inventory (different sound) - both of these sound effects will play when the vein is depleted, so it can be easier to tell when a vein is depleted in a crowded area.
  • See Motherlode Mine#Deposits

Golden nuggets[edit | edit source]

Golden nugget detail.png

Golden nuggets are obtained by searching the sack after cleaning the pay-dirt; with 2.74% chance per pay-dirt, independent of Mining levels.[5] Golden nuggets are used as currency at Prospector Percy's Nugget Shop:

Item Nuggets Notes
Prospector helmet.png: Inventory image of Prospector helmet Prospector helmet[d 1] 40 0.4% bonus Mining experience
Prospector jacket.png: Inventory image of Prospector jacket Prospector jacket[d 1] 60 0.8% bonus Mining experience
Prospector legs.png: Inventory image of Prospector legs Prospector legs[d 1] 50 0.6% bonus Mining experience
Prospector boots.png: Inventory image of Prospector boots Prospector boots[d 1] 30 0.2% bonus Mining experience
Soft clay pack.png: Inventory image of Soft clay pack Soft clay pack 10 2000 in stock
Coal bag.png: Inventory image of Coal bag Coal bag 100
Gem bag.png: Inventory image of Gem bag Gem bag 100
Bag full of gems.png: Inventory image of Bag full of gems Bag full of gems 40
Unlocks (Talk to Percy (Chat 4))
Upper Floor Access 100 Requires 72 Mining (nonboostable)
Larger pay-dirt sack 200 Holds 162 (6 deposits)
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Required for Hard Falador Diary Achievement ( along with 60 mining)

Rates[edit | edit source]

Experience and profit per hour[edit | edit source]

Note: All rates are rough estimates and may vary. Based on Mod John C's forum post on 22 April 2014. All the profit rates are based on rough estimates.

XP/Profit per hour Level 31 Level 41 Level 61 Level 70 Level 85 Level 99
Mining XP per hour 13,106 15,500 29,260 30,325 43,000 54,000
Profit per hour 27,704 47,423 67,571 108,806 244,858 307,497
Profit per hour with Crystal pickaxe (+3.03%) N/A N/A N/A N/A 252,278 316,814

Motherlode Mine versus other methods[edit | edit source]

Level Iron Ore Granite Motherlode Mine Blast Mine
31 MiningMining icon.png 31,500 N/A 22,006 N/A
41 MiningMining icon.png 42,000 N/A 26,055 N/A
61 MiningMining icon.png 49,350 40,410 29,260 48,000
75 MiningMining icon.png 52,290 48,400 38,000 58,000
85 MiningMining icon.png 52,290 55,490 43,000 64,400
99 MiningMining icon.png 70,000 125,000 52,000 79,000

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
31 October 2019
(update)
The clickzone of the top of the ladder in Motherlode Mine has been improved.
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]

  • Motherlode mine was added on 24 April 2014, and was expanded to a second floor on 9 April 2015.
  • On the western side of the mine, there is an NPC named Runite Minor, named after the designer of the Motherlode Mine and winner of the 2014 Player Designed Content.
  • 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.
  • In the middle of Prospector Percy's machine, there is a baby mole with the examine text 'Moooole'. This is most likely a reference to a scene from the film Austin Powers in Goldmember.
  • An interesting note about the upper level is that when your player climbs up the ladder, you do 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 your player is standing on, so you will be able to see players and NPCs on both levels (just like the mechanics in Castle Wars).
  • When examined, a miner in the southwestern corner of Motherlode Mine reveals that "He became a miner after his agoraphobia stopped him doing Sailing." This refers to the frequently joked about topic of the Sailing skill, which has long been an inside joke in the RuneScape community.
  • The miner in the northeastern corner of the mine has examine text that reads "Secretly, he'd like to rescue princesses and eat mushrooms." This most likely is in reference to the fact that the miners share a colour scheme similar to Mario from the Mario video game franchise.
  • Prospector Percy's appearance and examine text are references to the character Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mod Ash. "Shift-Click Drop & QoL." 23-Feb-2017 11:09:04. Old School Announcements Forums.
  2. Mod Ash. "General QoL!." 09-Mar-2017 13:06:57. Old School Announcements Forums.
  3. Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 8 Jun 2015. Mod Ash: "When it is mined. It'd stay as runite even if your level drops before you clean it."
  4. Reddit. [1] RuneScape Forums.
  5. Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 8 Jun 2015. 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."