Mining is used to collect the ores you’ll need for Blacksmithing, Jewelcrafting, and Engineering…this means that the Auction House is usually LOADED with ALL the Mining supplies you’d ever need for leveling.
So instead of wasting the time running around leveling your Mining you may want to just BUY everything. If you don’t think you can afford it then you should read this guide now before you start.
This Mining Leveling Guide is updated for patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria.
**Due to changes in Patch 5.3, you can now level mining in Mists of Pandara from level 1-600. If you are a high level player please check out the Mining Guide for Level 90s.
This guide will help you level Mining from 1 to 600 by both gathering ore and smelting it. You’ll be able to save time and gold reaching 600 as fast as possible. This guide also includes some of the best farming routes available for Mining.
What’s in this Guide:
- Horde 1-50
- Alliance 1-50
- Smelting 1-525
It is highly advised that if you get stuck on a Mining route in this guide, have problems finding nodes due to over crowding of zones, or want to be lazy, you should smelt as much as you can for parts of this Mining leveling guide.
Ore Skill Requirements
Here is a list of what skill levels you will need to mine each type of ore found in this guide.
Don’t forget to go back to the mining trainer at the appropriate times so that you can advance your mining skill to each new maximum.
I strongly recommend that you smelt as much as you can for this guide, especially through the lower levels, if you don’t have the gold to buy the ore required to do this take a look at this Gold Making Guide.
The lower level ores you’ll be mining in the first several sections don’t have the best resale value and you can save a lot of time by simply buying them on the Auction House instead so skip to the smelting section if possible.
Mining 1 to 50 – Copper
Undead – Tirisfal Glades – The undead path for this mining leveling guide is fairly simple. You can pick a starting point anywhere on the line and just run the path mining along the way. If you are low level you may want to take into consideration areas on the map that might be too high for you to cross, if that is the case then just skip them and meet up with the path further down while leveling your mining.
Tauren – Mulgore – Mulgore is just a big oval so this mining route is really simple to run while leveling. Mob levels and aggro are not that important of a factor since you’ll be sticking to the outer edges of the map you should be fine following this part guide. You may want to skip leveling mining in the Venture Co Mine if you are too low of a level.
Orc & Troll – Durotar – Durotar is full of mountains and you could probably develop your own mining route if this one doesn’t work for you. I will let you know upfront that Durotar is a deformed piece of land and you would have to run all over the place to utilize a full mining circuit of it which can be tedious while leveling.
Blood Elves – Eversong Woods – This route is the simplest route to follow. There are other mines near West Sanctum and West of Sunsail Anchorage but if you’re looking for simplicity this is the route to take. The Deadscar is loaded with mines so if you get bored of going in circles I’ve added a point you can break off at halfway through.
Goblins – Azshara – Goblins have several options of where to go to mine, Azshara is one of them and can be done for some of the other Horde races as well by choice. The route stays up on the plateau and does a full loop around it. The red circle on the map is where you can make out like a bandit on copper ore as there are at least 7 nodes in that area that will spawn.
Human – Elwynn Forest – This mining path is for this part of the guide is kind of obvious since Elwynn forest isn’t surrounded by mountains on all 4 sides. There are two caves to go into and if you run the alternate dotted line from time to time there are more nodes down the river near the Tower of Azora.
Night Elves & Worgen – Darkshore – Darnassus isn’t great for mining so you have to come to Darkshore to level it up. Darkshore is a huge zone, there are nodes scattered all off to each side of this route. The southern half is higher level range so do half circles of the route if that is an issue.
Dwarves & Gnomes – Dun Morogh – This is a route I’ve used many times for leveling up my mining. You can literally make your own mining leveling route in this zone because it is so mountainous. Just stick to the mountain edges, caves, and rises in land and you’ll be set to mine in this zone as shown in the zone mining map guide below.
Draenei – Azuremyst Isle – There are two caves on this route that you’ll want to hit up. If you are low enough level to get experience in the cave to the north you could basically just sit in there and grind / mine at the same time. If not then follow the entire route. There’s kind of a dead spot transition while going to the next good area when you go passed the lakes but it’s that or loop back the way you came, either is fine.
Horde and Alliance
Hillsbrad Foothills - This zone, which was combined with Alterac Mountains in Cataclysm, now has one of the densest areas of Tin Ore ever noted on any map. By staying in the red zone and going in the caves there are a very large supply of nodes. Take a trip out of the area and run around the outskirts of the mountains when bored.
Ashenvale - This route is more spread apart than the above Hillsbrad route, but still a viable option for Tin Ore. Stay away from the northeast section as it’s mostly Copper Ore up there. Stick to the internal ridges.
In addition to these mining routes above you could also perform full circuits of Wetlands and Redridge mountains for this part of the mining guide.
Horde and Alliance
Don’t forget to go back to the mining trainer so that you can continue leveling up, there’s nothing worse than mining and mining only to realize you haven’t been getting skill ups because you didn’t train and were zoned out.
If you are starting to run low on gold or are getting tired of mining and would like to have enough gold to smelt as much as possible from this point on I highly recommend you look at these gold making tips.
Feralas – This zone is loaded with Iron Ore and is probably the best zone to get it now thanks to changes to the zone from Cataclysm. Do a loop in the north and run some of the outskirts in the southern regions west of Camp Mojache.
Western Plaguelands – In this zone you’ll find a relatively simple and easy route to follow. Just doing an outskirt circuit of the map without going too far north or doing anything internally should be a pretty sufficient route to net enough Iron Ore on each trip around.
The Cape of Stranglethorn – This is my least favorite spot of the three to mine Iron Ore but it’s likely one of the best to find this ore. There are a few nodes out on Jaguero Isle and then by coming back across to the gorilla area and naga area you will net some Iron Ore.
You could still be smelting for this part and skipping the first half of this mining leveling guide, but it will start to cost a lot more gold and you should absolutely read this guide if you decide to smelt.
Felwood – This is probably the easiest route to follow as long as you don’t mind running through a lot of enemies while doing it. This route should net you the most Mithril Ore, and is almost a complete loop of the outskirts of the zone.
Badlands – Here you’ll probably want to spend most of your time in the eastern loop or in the cave in the southwest. It’s not bad to alternate between the two spots but the eastern loop and southwestern cave are where you will level mining the fastest.
Burning Steppes – Dreadmaul Rock is loaded with caves full of Mithril Ore, you could spend all day just going in and out of the caves on the red spot but you’ll have to be dismounted most of the time and fight your way through some of the enemies. For a more peaceful route take the outskirt arrows.
For information on how to get gold to smelt through these sections of the guide take a look at this guide.
Keep in mind that Small Thorium Veins require a skill of 230 but you won’t be able to mine the Rich Thorium Veins till 215.
Don’t forget to go back to the mining trainer at 225 so you can continue advancing your skill.
Winterspring – This is one of the best spots for Thorium hands down. Do this small loop and go into the yeti caves, or don’t do this loop at all and go to the northern part and run the edges. There’s Thorium everywhere!!
Silithus – This is another good zone to farm Thorium Ore in. Go into the caves of the hives if the big circle gets too boring. If you don’t want to drop into the tunnel systems there is still a decent amount of Thorium if you just perform the circuit indicated on the map.
Blasted Lands – This zone has a few good routes for Thorium Ore. The section in the southwest has both Small Thorium and Rich Thorium Veins.
Hellfire Peninsula – The easiest leveling route to farm some Fel Iron Ore is to stay in Hellfire Peninsula. If you are leveling up to make gold you should take a look at this guide before you level any further. For this section you can just loop around the orcs near the citadel but if you follow the entire leveling route around the mining map it will also be beneficial. Watch out for the elite area in the northwest area and there are some other crowded areas like the Pools of Agonnar that can be a headache while leveling. Remember Fel Iron can be used to skill up all the way to 375+ if you wish and you can skip the other sections of this leveling guide.
Nagrand – From 325-350 continue mining Fel Iron when possible but begin to look for the non-rich Adamantite Deposits which become available for mining at skill 325. The best Adamantite mining zone is Nagrand where almost anywhere you look in the zone you can find Adamantite Deposits. Start by performing a full-circuit as shown below and then move into the inner water areas if those are camped or you prefer a change while leveling.
Howling Fjord – Remember you must be at least 350 to start mining the regular Cobalt nodes, the Rich Cobalt nodes require 375 mining. You can actually take Rich Cobalt to 450 for leveling if you wanted to (just like Fel Iron in Hellfire Peninsula for TBC) but just to pretend like you need to go outside of the first zone in The Wrath of the Lich King to max your mining I put up more zones and will have you mine the other minerals for leveling. But keep in mind you do not have to leave these zones. The first leveling map is for Howling Fjord, it’s pretty simple to follow, just remember the lines that go over caves want you to follow the line from inside the cave and not outside.
You can also use this gold farming guide to buy Cobalt Ore to smelt which gets you from 350-375.
Zul’Drak – There will be more Rich Cobalt Nodes in Zul’Drak if you are interested in leveling your skill beyond 400 on Rich Cobalt.
Sholazar Basin – You must be 425 to mine Rich Saraonite, you will find Titanium Veins along the way but you must be 450 to mine Titanium. Sholazar Basin is a miner’s heaven due to its structure and it’s very easy to follow the zone guide for leveling. If you could get one of the pillars to yourself you could farm / kill mobs for exp while working your mining up. Otherwise you can see that the main ridge around the zone is the hotspot for mining Titanium and Saronite, along with all of the pillars and streams/lakes.
At 425 you can also mine Obsidium if you wish.
Mount Hyjal – You can start mining Obsidium at 425 if you wish instead of doing Saronite to 450. The best zone to go for Obsidum Deposits is Mount Hyjal because your other options are underwater. By all means if you like to play underwater try those zones out instead, but I found this to be more in line with the traditional way of mining.
Deepholm and Twilight Highlands – You must be 475 to mine Elementium. The best zone for Elementium is probably Deepholm. Uldum and Twilight Highlands have it as well and I’ve included a map for Twilight Highlands because it’s probably the best other place to go.
Here is the map for Twilight Highlands.
Here is a Map for Jade Forest. Yes it is EVERYWHERE!
If you want your skill maxed fast you can mine all the way to 600 with ghost iron ore and never have to move to a new zone keep in mind at 595 normal Ghost Iron Ore will go grey but you can get skill up from Rich Ghost Iron Deposits. However, at the top of this guide shows the more rare deposits and thier required skill level to obtain.
You can smelt most of your way to 525 and avoid actually having to go out and mine the ore yourself. For those of you who choose this method of leveling, it will be faster, and also more expensive. It can easily cost thousands of gold to smelt but don’t worry, just take a look at this gold making guide and you’ll learn how to make a lot of gold very quickly.
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