Motherlode Mine

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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. At least 30 Mining is required to mine on the lower level, and at least 72 Mining (cannot be boosted) is required 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.

Clue geodes can not be obtained at the Motherlode Mine.

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 one another 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. This might be important for Ironmen who would like a semi-afk way to obtain ores above their mining levels.

Ore Level Bonus experience GE Price Ore Chance by Level
40-69 70-84 ≥85
Coal.png Coal 30 0 197 63.94% 41.80% 29.64%
Golden nugget.png Golden nugget 30 0 N/A 2.74% 2.74% 2.74%
Gold ore.png Gold ore 40 15 136 17.88% 23.29% 24.10%
Mithril ore.png Mithril ore 55 30 99 15.42% 23.70% 26.09%
Adamantite ore.png Adamantite ore 70 45 984 N/A 8.58% 15.85%
Runite ore.png Runite ore 85 75 11,262 N/A N/A 1.56%

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). Overall it is recommended to carry a hammer and a gem bag to maximise both profit, and the number of deposits.

  • Regular Sack: 27 + 27 + 26 = 80 → 80 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt.
  • Alternative: 28 + 28 + 24 = 80 → 80 + 28 = 108 pay-dirt.
  • Upgraded Sack: 21 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 + 28 = 189 pay-dirt.
  • Alternative (with gem bag): 27+27+27+27+27+26=161 →161+27=188 pay-dirt.

The most consistent method to avoid wasting time dropping anything is to have your hammer & Gold nugget stack in your inventory to only allow you to only pick up 26 items at a time.

  • With no upgrade you should expect 104 pay dirt.
  • With the upgrade you can expect 182 pay dirt.

Using this method makes the motherload mine even more afkable.

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. Additionally, a player can choose to hop to another world, where the strut is already intact. This will result in the same outcome as if the player had fixed the strut themselves.

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.

Box traps and other traps placed on the ground may be laid to temporarily prevent rockfalls from blocking a path, until the box trap collapses and for a short period thenafter. The falling rocks will still damage the player.

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 yields unlimited ore for approximately 15–27 seconds after the first pay-dirt is mined,[1] regardless of the number of miners on the same spot. Once this timer runs out, the next ore mined from the vein by any player depletes the vein. This makes it beneficial for players to mine the same vein rather than depleting multiple veins at once.

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 without access to the upper level of the mines should unlock the agility shortcut (requires 54 Agility and completion of Falador Medium Diary)
  • 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's a high pitched sound effect that sounds a bit like metal scraping on metal, or a whistling sound. 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.
  • You can optimize your inventory size to maximise the amount of pay-dirt stored in the sack. See Motherlode Mine#Deposits

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Golden nugget detail.png

Golden nuggets are obtained by searching the sack after cleaning the pay-dirt; golden nuggets are obtained with 2.74% chance per pay-dirt, independent of Mining levels.[4] Golden nuggets are used as currency at Prospector Percy's Nugget Shop to purchase the prospector kit along with other rewards. They can also be used to buy access to the upper floor (at 72 Mining) and a larger ore deposit sack from Prospector Percy.

The experience and profit rates of Motherlode Mine can vary based on level, the tier of pickaxe used, competition, and whether the upper floor is used. It also does not scale completely linearly: as new ores are available to be mined, they will increase the rates accordingly. With rough estimates, using the best pickaxe available, players with 30 Mining can expect approximately 20,000 experience and 2,000 profit per hour, players with 61 Mining approximately 30,000 experience and 20,000 profit per hour, and players with 99 Mining approximately 52,000 experience and 300,000 profit per hour.

Compared to other methods of training Mining, Motherlode Mine requires relatively low effort for moderate experience and profit, and it is the least attention-requiring method besides amethyst mining (which in turn provides much lower experience rates). In contrast, powermining iron ore or granite can provide significantly higher experience rates at the cost of being more click-intensive and offering no profit. Similarly, Volcanic Mine and Blast Mine generally offer higher experience rates, but require more interaction.

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
Date unknown

The Medium Falador Diary no longer provides any increased chance of receiving higher ores when cleaning pay dirt.[5]

31 October 2019

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

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

23 April 2015

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

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.
  • An interesting note about the upper level is that 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 (just like 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, 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 northeastern 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 southwestern corner reveals that "he became a miner after his agoraphobia stopped him doing Sailing", a reference to the supposed Sailing skill.
    • 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.
  • 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.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 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 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."
  4. 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."
  5. 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."