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Main / Skills / Mining

A Miner at Work


Mining is the skill of excavating stone shards, marble shards, slate shards, sandstone shards and ore veins.

Opening a mine (Tunnel)

Activate pickaxe right click any cliff or rock tile and select mining > tunnel. Find potential error messages here.

  • The first step is to make a mine entrance on the surface which may be done on any cliff or rock tile.
  • The minimum slope of the rock surface to be mined is +1 but also have further requirements. The two lowest corners of your tile will form the bottom edge of your opening. If there are not two corners lower than the others (not equal) you cant tunnel. After opening that lower border will be reshaped completely flat at level of the lower corner.
  • If there are two lower corners identified then the opposite border will be the top of your mine opening and will be completely flat as well, leveled at lower corner of the opposite border.
  • You cannot surface mine to correct an oddly shaped entrance once it is open. So you must make sure to have the tile in the exact shape you want it to be before you open the mine.
  • When tuneling, entrance tile is limited by reinforced cave floor as any others (requires that all four corner of the entrance tile not be also one of a reinforced tile). So, when you are tunneling an entrance from the outside and receive the message, The ground sounds strangely hollow and brittle. You have to abandon the mining operation. , you most likely have a reinforced floor inside the tunnel you are trying to open. Enter the mine from another angle and remove the reinforced floor.
  • Tunel from outside will ever make a downgoing entrance 20 slope or more, even if there is a flat cave inside. Tunnel out from inside will only remove the rock walls without changing the ground level.
  • To correct that entry slope you can further raise the mine corner floor with concrete but if ground reach is deep underwater. If you don't want any ugly water on the floor in the mine, ensure that both lower corners of the entrance are at least at height 28 (hover the corner with the mouse).
  • Each tunneling action has a chance to create a stone shard. After a number of stone shards are created, usually 9, the message You will soon create an entrance will appear, after 51 actions. A stone shard or two later, and an entrance will be created.
  • The maximum height of a tunnel entrance is 270 slope, but you would not be able to continue mining because of ceiling height restrictions. Tunnel slopes should be less than 235.
  • The maximum height of an tunnel entrance is 90 slope if you plan to add a mine door.
  • You may create a mine entrance up to 3 tiles wide.
    • To widen a tunnel, the tile you mine must only be connected to ONE open tunnel only
    • Mine doors can be placed on tunnel entrances that are 1 tile or wider, except on PvP servers. Note that you will need more than one mine door for wider entrances!
    • It is not possible to create an opening next to an opening that has a mine door attached.

Tunnel excavation

Activate pickaxe right click on rock tile select mining > mine.

Mining a cave wall inside of a mine will remove that tile of rock. It takes 45 mining actions to produce the message The wall will break soon after which it takes 1 to 11 actions to fully remove the tile.

  • It is possible to mine up, down or flat but only the final action is taken into account. The resulting slope of up or down will be approximately 20. Ceiling will be 30 above the created floor whatever its shape is.
  • There are slight deviations in mine slopes (up to 3 "Slope") when a mine shaft progresses.This is based off Mining Skill.
    • skill less than 50, +-3
    • skill = 50, variance is +-2
    • skill = 70, variance is +-1
    • skill = 90+ no variance
  • When mining a tile next to an opened tile, slope of the existing tile will be kept but may also change with same variance.
  • When connecting two mine shafts, the direction of the mining is irrelevant; one floor will connect to the other floor and ceilings will likewise connect.
  • Each action will produce one stone shard.
  • All items mined from the cave wall will appear in a pile on the ground on the tile you're standing; this often includes items such as salt and gems, all of which are found randomly.
  • It is not possible to create an exit from the inside if there is dirt covering the planned exit, this must be fully uncovered and bare just as if you were to create an entrance from the outside.
  • If the outside tile is covered by dirt while trying to mine out, the message The cave wall looks very unstable and dirt flows in. You would be buried alive

Mining resources

Ore is produced by mining metal ore veins found inside of a mine. Marble, slate, rock salt, and sandstone veins produce shards. A Rock salt tile has about the same amount of shards as a regular rock tile, approximately 50 shards.

  • When an ore or shard vein is depleted a tunnel is created. However, a vein can take several thousand actions to deplete, so it is advised to mine around ore and shard veins for tunneling purposes.

Mining floors and ceiling

  • Mining the floor or ceiling of a cave will not create tunnels. Instead, it raises (for ceiling) or lowers (for floors) the cave. Note that, as with digging, these actions affect the closest corner of the tile and not the tile itself.
  • A ceiling tile can be mined upward around 31 times before you will receive the message You cannot reach the ceiling . (given that you haven't lowered the floor before you start).
  • A floor tile can be mined down well past swimming depth to let boats pass through. It is a good idea to keep a rowboat/sailboat close by for stamina regain when mining past the water level.
  • Each rock tile removed will have that standard ceiling height, so each ceiling tile must be mined individually, if you want them to be higher. The floor section will match up (providing you didn't mine up or down).
  • You can fix slopes with concrete: one concrete will raise one corner, the equivalent of 1 dirt or 1 mine action.
  • Mining ceilings for stone shards is much faster than mining on a wall tile, this can be used to your advantage when not wishing to extend a mine, but shards are required.
  • If you have raised the ceiling and try to mine the floor too low, you will receive the message: Lowering the floor further would make the cavern unstable before hitting the water level.
  • For the best access in a mine it is recommended not to mine the floor directly, because it can create uneven surfaces making it hard to move around.
  • The actions mine up and mine down create predictable slopes of 20 and are good if you want a sloped passage, although floor mining can be very useful if used in the right way.

Proceed with caution when adjusting the floors as mining is not easily reversed. When digging you can always drop the dirt and refill the hole - this is not possible when mining.

Mine Up/Down

  • Mining up/down will create a slope of 20 or to the corresponding next level, if there is another tunnel (see Dropshaft)


Standing on a flat cave tile will permit the leveling of an adjacent tile so that it will be at the same height. To see if a tile is flat, activate a pickaxe and hover over the tile (as long as you have at least 15 mining skill).

Activate a pickaxe and right click the cave floor tile, select Mining > Level.

  • Will mine the highest corners and make the tile flat.

Activate concrete right click the corner to be raised select raise corner.

The corner you are standing nearest will be raised, so make sure you are standing in the correct spot.

  • To raise corners concrete must be held in the inventory and activated.
  • One concrete will raise one corner equivalent to 1 dirt.
  • Concrete can be used to raise an underwater cave tile as long as the tile is 25 dirts deep or less; below that you get the message: The water is too deep and would only dissolve the concrete.

Surface mining

Activate pickaxe and right click cliff or rock tile, select Mining > Mine.

Surface mining is the action of shaping external rock or cliff faces to prepare an area for tunneling, adjusting terrain for other uses or simply for aesthetic reasons.

  • To mine on the surface, all adjacent corners of the tile must be clear of dirt. You will need dig all four corners of a tile to expose rock.
  • When mining into water the maximum depth permitted is -25 from the water level.
  • It may take one or more actions to lower a single dirt level of rock.
  • Border slope depth may be seen with a pickaxe activated just as with a shovel.
  • You will only be able to mine slopes which are 3 times your mining skill. For example, if you mining skill is 3, you can mine slopes of 9 or below.

Slope reduction: You mine some stone shards.
No reduction: You chip away at the rock.

Mine doors

You can limit access to your mine with the use of a mine door. Several types of mine doors are available.

Remember that off-deed mine doors can be bashed by other players, so your mine is not entirely safe just because it has a mine door attached. A deed perimeter does NOT protect mine doors.

  • If you wish to place a fence around a mine entrance this should be done before attaching a mine door.
  • On Elevation and Defiance servers, there must be a minimum of 3 tiles between mine doors and only 4 mine doors in an 11x11 area. There is a check in a 5 tile radius around the door being placed.


Dropshafts are typically unfavorable in mines. They link two sections of a mine together which have a height difference of many dirts. They are not easily traveled through. Vehicles and horses will not be able to move between the levels, and a player must climb to move between the two.

  • When a drop shaft is going to be created you will receive this message before the wall breaks: You hear falling rocks from the other side of the wall. A deep shaft will probably emerge.
  • Should a dropshaft be required, simply mine out the rock tile which separates two mines of different levels. Some players have created dropshafts to gain fast access to water or create short-cuts. There is no falling damage inside mines, so falling down these shafts is not going to injure the player.

Proceed with caution as these are very hard, often impossible, to modify once created.

  • Collapsing a dropshaft tile with the Strongwall spell or a shaker orb will allow you to remine a tile to the height of the tiles around it, but proceed carefully and ask for assistance, as careful planning is required.


Any excavated cave tile has a chance of caving in.

  • When a tile caves in the it will become either a rock, ore or shard vein and will need to be re-excavated.
  • A recently collapsed rock tile may not require as many actions to re-open, however an ore tile will likely require many hundred, or even thousand, actions to remove.
  • Reinforcing a cave wall with a support beam will lower the chance of a cave-in on tiles surrounding that support. Once reinforced they may not be excavated, however a mayor may mine out the support should it reside on their deed. This would take approximately 50 actions just to remove the support.

A cave wall reinforced with a support beam off deed is literally impossible to remove. Please be mindful of this. Note that underground highways are protected from cave-ins, thus tunnels for them dont require reinforcement on side walls.

  • Ore veins are considered similar to reinforced walls for purposes of stability.
  • The chance that a tile is replaced with a vein or shard other than rock is extremely low.
  • You also have the option to manually cave in mine tiles using the spell Strongwall or using a shaker orb which can be bought from a trader for 4 silver and is a one time use item.


Ore Difficulty

As with most things in Wurm, too low difficulty leads to reduced skill gain, while too high difficulty results in high failure rate. A failure results in a 1.00 QL shard.

  • Items from successful mining have random QL, but the maximum possible is the lower of your mining skill and the tile's inherent quality. See prospecting for details about tile quality.

Note: In order to gain skill from a mining action the by‑product has to be anywhere in between 1.01 and 39.99 quality range.

Note: All tests were done with a 25ql pickaxe.

Tile type Skill
Rock, Zinc 1-25
Iron, Rock salt 25-35
Tin 35-50
Copper, Slate, Lead 50-75
Silver 75-90
Gold, Marble, Sandstone 90+
Optimal Skill Gain

Optimal Pickaxe Selection for Skill Gain

If you want to optimize mining skill gain, you need to pick the correct QL pickaxe for your skill and for the vein you are mining. You can use the formula:

(Skill + Tool QL) divided by 2, then subtract 20 = <optimal difficulty>

Plug in the variables you know, and solve for the remaining variable.

Ore type Difficulty
Stone 2
Zinc 2
Iron 3
Tin 10
Copper 20
Slate 20
Lead 20
Rock salt 30
Silver 35
Gold 40
Reinforced 40
Marble 40
Sandstone 45


There are several types of resource which can be found while mining:

Tile type Mining By-Products
Rock Stone shards
Rock salt vein Rock salt shards
Slate Slate shards
Sandstone vein Sandstone shards
Marble Marble shards
Iron vein Iron ore
Copper vein Copper ore
Tin vein Tin ore
Zinc vein Zinc ore
Lead vein Lead ore
Silver vein Silver ore
Gold vein Gold ore
Mining Resources

Other resources which can be found include salt, gems, source crystals and flint.


  • Mining speed is determined by mining skill, pickaxe quality, pickaxe skill, and the Wind of ages or Botd cast, ordered from greatest effect to least.
  • Because Wurm is not a true 3D world, the cave layer is essentially a second world beneath the surface. It is possible to mine upwards and downwards with a few limitations.
  • Mining straight mines at zero slope. Mining upward or downward mines at a slope of 20 in that direction. From this, a set of variants is applied based on skill which ultimately determines the final slope of the tile. This skill-based variance set is such that: <50 skill is +/- 3, 50-70 is +/- 2, 70-90 is +/- 1, 90+ is 0. Only the final action that breaks the wall (upward, downward, or straight) determines the direction mined.
  • You may not mine upward out of rock and into the dirt that is covering it.
  • You can mine downward until you reach 25 dirts below the water table.
  • It is not possible to have one tunnel pass under or over another without forming a vertical shaft. Each tile is essentially a pillar, so if two tunnels cross at different elevations they create a shaft going from the upper tunnel to the lower tunnel.

PVP Servers

  • Maximum slope for surface mining is limited to your 1x mining skill on Defiance and Epic servers and capped at 60 slope.
  • There is a minimum of 3 tiles required between mine doors on all PVP servers.

Mining Warning Messages

See: Mining warnings

See also

Skills & Characteristics


  • Miner at 50 skill
  • Prime Minester at 70 skill
  • Mastermine at 90 skill
  • The World is Mine at 100 skill


  • Mining can be done while moving, so long as you do not move too far away (two tiles) from the tile you are currently working on.
  • See Mining warnings for more indepth information on each situation.