Motherlode Mine

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The Motherlode Mine is a members-only Mining training area that was added to Old School RuneScape on 24 April 2014, and expanded upward on 9 April 2015. It is located in the Dwarven Mine and was discovered by Prospector Percy. Players can enter the caverns from either of its two entrances, one near the Mining Guild gate and the stairs to Falador, and the other within the Mining Guild. Any type of pickaxe is required to enter the main part of the mine, and to mine obstructing rockfalls.

Players must have at least level 30 Mining to mine in the lower level and 72 Mining (cannot be boosted) for the upper level.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

  • Use Skills necklace to teleport to the Mining Guild and run a short distance to the entrance.
  • Cast Falador Teleport or use a Falador teleport tablet, then run to the building in the east of the city that contains the stairs down to the Dwarven Mines located directly to the east of the party room. Go down the stairs and enter the cave to the south, marked on the minimap by an exclamation mark.

Features[edit | edit source]

Mining ore veins[edit | edit source]

A miner mining an ore vein in the Motherlode Mine.

Players can mine the ore veins within the mine, which yield pay-dirt, gaining 60 Mining experience for each pay-dirt mined. On the lower level, veins have a 33% chance of depleting each time an ore is mined,[1] to a maximum of 26 pay-dirt per vein (though due to chance, it could be as little as 1). The veins also have a chance to give uncut gems, which, as with mining normal ore rocks, is increased by wearing an amulet of glory.

Players with level 72 Mining (cannot be boosted) may pay Prospector Percy a one-time fee of 100 golden nuggets to be granted permission to mine in the upper level of the mine, which is accessible via the ladder near the bank chest. It contains 64 additional ore veins that are very close to each other compared to the lower level. In addition, the veins disappear 15–27 seconds after they were first mined, rather than after an amount of ore has been mined from them.[2] This means that the upper level is more desirable to miners since players can mine the same veins without fear of crashing one another.

Cleaning[edit | edit source]

When finished mining, players can clean the pay-dirt by depositing it into the hopper at the water circuit. The player will be able to see their pay-dirt flowing toward the sack at the other end of the water circuit; note that if the player logs out or changes worlds before their pay-dirt reaches the sack, it is NOT lost.

After cleaning the pay-dirt, players can search the sack at the other end of the water circuit to collect ore. Players can receive ores that range from coal to runite, depending on their Mining level, with extra Mining experience being granted if the pay-dirt yields gold or higher ore. Ores are determined when the pay-dirt is mined, so a player can receive ore above their current level if they use a mining boost such as a dwarven stout or the dragon pickaxe's special attack while mining, NOT when cleaning.[3]

Ore Level Bonus experience GE Price
Coal.png Coal 30 0 156
Golden nugget.png Golden nugget 30 0 Not sold
Gold ore.png Gold ore 40 15 354
Mithril ore.png Mithril ore 55 30 178
Adamantite ore.png Adamantite ore 70 45 1,302
Runite ore.png Runite ore 85 75 11,328
The HUD displaying the amount of pay-dirt in the sack.

The sack can hold up to 81 pay-dirt, or 162 if the player has purchased the sack upgrade 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.

Note that if the sack is not full, it will always accept a load of pay-dirt from the player's inventory regardless of how many are already in the sack. Thus a player can have up to 108 pay-dirt if the player deposits an inventory of 28 pay-dirt when the sack is at 80 capacity. One strategy for this is to do two full inventories of 27 pay-dirt (leaving one space for a hammer), then bring an inventory of 26 (or 27 and drop 1), and deposit the remaining 26, ending up with exactly 80 pay-dirt in the sack afterwards. Then the player can simply pick up any pay-dirt they dropped, drop their hammer, mine another full inventory, and deposit in the sack for a total of 108 pay-dirt. With the sack upgrade, players can fill it to 161 (five inventories of 27 and one of 26) then deposit a final inventory of 28 for a total of 189 pay-dirt in the sack.

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 all players in the mine and is not player-specific. One broken strut is not a problem by itself, but 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.

Players can fix the struts using a hammer, which can be found in several of the crates surrounding the machine. Fixing the machine grants Smithing experience equal to 1.5 times the player's Smithing level (e.g. a player with 50 Smithing will gain 75 Smithing experience for fixing).

After fixing the struts, players who want to maximize inventory space can simply drop their hammer as it can be easily reclaimed from the crates. This saves a spot in the inventory which, over long periods of time, can easily add up.

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 NPC Miners may remove these rockfalls, though they tend to be busy mining for pay-dirt.

Shortcut[edit | edit source]

There is a shortcut on east side of the Motherlode Mine, which leads to the middle. To use this shortcut, players require an Agility level of 54 and completion of the medium Falador Achievement Diary.

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[4]. They are the currency used at Prospector Percy's Nugget Shop. Percy will sell players the prospector kit, the coal bag, the gem bag, and soft clay packs, which contain 100 soft clay.

In addition, Prospector Percy will sell the player the following one-time unlocks through his dialogue (by asking him if there is anything else to unlock):

  • Upper floor access - 100 golden nuggets and 72 Mining (cannot be boosted)
  • Larger pay-dirt sack (increases the sack size from 81 to 162) - 200 golden nuggets

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. The profit per hour at lvl 85 and 99 are based on 20 hours of mining.

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 2,000 15,000 22,500 42,500 250,000 310,000

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

General advice[edit | edit source]

  • Use the best pickaxe that your Mining level allows. Higher quality pickaxes reduce the amount of time needed on average to mine ores.
  • Using the dragon pickaxe special attack gives players a chance at runite ore with 82 Mining.
  • For players under 72 Mining and/or without access to the upper level, it's recommended to complete the medium Falador Diary; this will allow you to use the eastern shortcut on the ground floor, offering quick access to the hopper from eastern ore veins (54 AgilityAgility icon.png required).
  • Unlocking the upper level as well as the larger sack early on is strongly recommended. The upper level is much better as the mechanics function differently to prevent spot-crashing (since a post-release update) and it is very close to the bank and deposit hopper. A larger sack will provide a good increase to experience per hour and gold per hour as you will have to do trips from sack to bank far less often, and with the coal bag it can even eliminate trips. The larger sack and upper level also makes AFK'ing slightly more viable due to these advantages.
  • As you will likely be here for an extended period of time, this is an ideal area to raise a kitten.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • 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.
  • Prospector Percy's appearance and examine text are likely 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. 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."