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 the southern portion of the Dwarven Mine under Falador and Ice Mountain. Any type of pickaxe is required to enter the main part of the mine, and to mine obstructing rockfalls. A Skills necklace may also be used to teleport close to its entrance by choosing the Mining Guild option.
There is no quest necessary to enter this area. Players must have at least level 30 Mining to mine in the lower level and 72 Mining (cannot be boosted) for the upper level. In addition to this requirement for the upper level, players must also pay Prospector Percy a one-time fee of 100 golden nuggets.
Note: The golden nuggets one can get from Panning near the Digsite, cannot be used with Prospector Percy.
Mining ore veins
Players can mine the ore veins within the mine, which yield pay-dirt, an ore that gives 60 experience. A maximum of 26 may be mined in one vein, though the actual number varies considerably and can give as little as just 1. The veins also have a chance to give uncut gems.
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 after a random period of time after they are first mined, rather than depleting faster if multiple people are mining them. On the lower level, veins have a 33% chance of depleting each time an ore is mined. On the upper level, veins deplete 15-27 seconds after they were first mined. Hence, veins on the lower level are resource-based, and veins on the upper level are time-based, thus making the upper level more desirable to miners since the same veins can be mined without fear of crashing one another.
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 change 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 circuit to collect ore. Experience is also obtained if the pay-dirt yields gold or higher ore. Players can receive ores that range from coal to runite, depending upon their level. Ores are determined when the ore 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.
|Golden nugget||30||0 experience|
|Gold ore||40||15 experience|
|Mithril ore||55||30 experience|
|Adamantite ore||70||45 experience|
|Runite ore||85||75 experience|
Once the sack is filled with 81 pay-dirt, the player may no longer deposit pay-dirt and must first begin emptying the sack before more can be deposited. The sack can hold 108 pay-dirt if the player does one inventory of 28 pay-dirt when the sack is at 80 capacity. One strategy for this is by depositing one inventory of 26 pay-dirt, two inventories of 27 pay-dirt, followed by a final inventory of 28 (drop your hammer), with one space for a hammer and one space for a gem bag. If players deposit more than 80 pay-dirt in the first three trips, the game will not allow them to add more until the sack is emptied.
Alternatively, you can simply do two full inventories of pay-dirt, followed by dropping the required amount of pay-dirt before the third deposit so that you end up with exactly 80 pay-dirt in the sack afterwards. This maximises the time you spend mining and getting experience as the pay-dirt dropped is still able to be picked up.
A player is unable to add more pay-dirt to the sack when it reaches 81 pay-dirt, whereafter the following message appears: "The sack is getting full." If you purchase the sack upgrade (by talking to Percy about anything else to unlock here), it will be considered full at 162 pay-dirt, allowing you to fill it to 161 then deposit a final inventory of 28 for a total of 189 pay-dirt in the sack.
Fixing broken struts
Occasionally, the water wheels may break; players must use a hammer to fix them. Hammers can be found in several of the crates, which surround the machine. Fixing the machine gives players Smithing experience equal to 1.5 times their level (e.g. A player with 50 Smithing will gain 75 Smithing experience for fixing).
You can get a hammer out of the crate closest to the hopper. Simply deposit your pay-dirt, take the hammer, repair the wheels, then drop the hammer. This saves a spot in your inventory which, over long periods of time, can easily add up. Broken struts are not independent to the player; they are shared amongst all players.
One broken strut usually doesn't cause a problem, 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.
Occasionally in certain areas of the mine, there may be rockfalls blocking the player's way and also damaging the player by a few (1-4) Hitpoints should they get trapped in the crosshairs.
They can be mined away for 10 experience, though they will quickly fall back down after a short time has passed. Both Runite Minor and the NPC Miners can remove these rockfalls, though they tend to be busy mining for pay-dirt.
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 are obtained by searching the sack after cleaning the pay-dirt; with 2.74% chance per pay-dirt, independent of Mining levels. 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. After a bug patch shortly after the release of the Achievement Diaries, clay packs can no longer be sold for nuggets back to Prospector Percy.
- - 40 golden nuggets
- - 60 golden nuggets
- - 50 golden nuggets
- - 30 golden nuggets
- - 10 golden nuggets
- - 100 golden nuggets
- - 100 golden nuggets
- - 40 golden nuggets
- 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
Experience and profit per hour
Note: All rates are rough estimates and may vary, based on Mod John C's forum post on 22 April 2014.
|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||75,000||146,000|
Motherlode Mine versus other methods
- Note: Rates are compared with other methods in which iron ore and granite are power-mined. Also, the Blast Mine rates are based on Price Checks & Improvements.
|Level||Iron Ore||Granite||Motherlode Mine||Blast Mine|
- Use the best pickaxe relevant to your Mining level. Higher quality pickaxes reduce the amount of time needed on average to mine the nodes.
- Using the dragon pickaxe special attack gives players a chance at runite ore with 82 Mining.
- The recommended method for most players is to have 27 open inventory spaces. Before getting to the 162 pay-dirt mark (6 inventories), make sure to put in an inventory with only 26 pay-dirt. This will allow you to add another full 27 pay-dirt inventory, going up to the 188 mark. It is recommended to have this 28th inventory spot be either filled with a gem bag or a hammer allowing the player to repair the waterwheels when needed without needing to fetch a hammer and the ability to keep received gems without taking up inventory space.
- For players under 72 Mining and/or without access to the upper level, it's highly 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 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 it even eliminates trips because of the nuggets stacking and the ability to use a coal bag (with the coal bag, banking large trips becomes easier as the last 2-3 trips you can carry extra inventory spaces of coal and the first couple trips the nuggets will stack, saving inventory spaces). The larger sack and upper level also makes AFK'ing slightly more viable due to these advantages.
- As the player will want to have two filled inventory slots before starting to mine, it is recommended to bring a kitten and some fish to feed it with along with you. As you will likely be here for an extended period of time, this is an ideal area to raise them in.
- 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.
- The machine Prospector Percy built to wash the pay-dirt is a cheap knockoff of the machine used in the Lovakengj House's blast mine. According to the operators, the design is a secret, and those who try to copy it would "never get it quite right. I bet 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-since pervaded the RuneScape community.
- Another miner, located in the north-eastern part of the mine, will state "Secretly, he'd like to rescue princesses and eat mushrooms." when examined, as a nod to Mario.
- The NPC, Prospector Percy is likely a reference to the character Stinky Pete, also abbreviated as Prospector Pete from Toy Story 2.
- Mod Ash. "Shift-Click Drop & QoL." 23-Feb-2017 11:09:04. Old School Announcements Forums.
- Mod Ash. "General QoL!." 09-Mar-2017 13:06:57. Old School Announcements Forums.
- 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."
- 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."