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Motherlode Mine

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Motherlode Mine
Motherlode Mine
Kingdom Asgarnia
Main Music Pick & Shovel
Levels 2
Strongest Monster None
Quests None
Inhabitants/Race Humans and dwarves
Dwarven Mine map
Click the map to view a larger version.
Prospector Percy chathead

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. A Skills necklace may also be used to teleport here.

There is no quest necessary to enter this area. Players must have at least level 30 Mining to mine in the lowest level and 72 Mining to mine in the upper level of the Motherlode Mine.



Mining ore veins

The NPC "Minor" mining an ore vein in the Motherlode Mine.

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.

Players with level 72 Mining 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 and contains an additional 64 ore veins.


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 receive Mining experience for cleaning the ore, which can then be retrieved from the sack. 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[1]. Also, if you walk away to keep mining more pay-dirt, you will still receive the experience from cleaning your previous load, even if you are not in render distance of the sack when it is cleaned. 

Motherlode fixing

A player fixing a waterwheel.

Ore Level Experience
Coal Coal 30 0 experience
Golden nugget Golden nugget 30 0 experience
Gold ore Gold ore 40 15 experience
Mithril ore Mithril ore 55 30 experience
Adamantite ore Adamantite ore 70 45 experience
Runite ore Runite ore 85 75 experience

Once the sack is filled with 84 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 you do one inventory of 26 pay-dirt and 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 you deposit more than 80 pay-dirt in the first 3 trips, the game will not allow you to add more until the sack is emptied. A player is unable to add more pay-dirt to the sack after the third deposit of 27 or fourth deposit of 26, whereafter the following message appears: "The sack is getting full."

Fixing broken strutsEdit

Occasionally, the water wheels may break; players must carry 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). Carrying a hammer in your inventory can save valuable time wasted searching for a hammer. Alternatively, 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.

Rock fallsEdit

Occasionally in certain areas of the mine, there may be rock falls blocking the player's way and also damaging the player by a few Hitpoints should he or she get trapped in the crosshairs. Nonetheless, these can be mined granting 10 experience without costing an inventory space, but more will fall soon, and if the player is in the way, the player can take 1-4 damage based on his or her Hitpoints level.


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 nuggetsEdit

Golden nugget detail

Golden nuggets are obtained by searching the sack after cleaning the pay-dirt; with 2.74% chance per pay-dirt, independent of Mining levels[2]. 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.


Experience and profit per hourEdit

Note: All rates are rough estimates and may vary, based on Mod John C's forum post on 22 April 2014. They appear to be the powermine values.

XP/Profit per hour Level 31 Level 41 Level 61 Level 70 Level 85 Level 99
Mining XP per hour 22,006 26,055 29,260 30,325 32,254 35,140
Profit per hour 13,000 89,000 125,000 150,000 175,000 225,000

Motherlode Mine versus other methodsEdit

Level Iron Ore Granite Motherlode Mine Blast Mine
31 Mining-icon 31,500 N/A 22,006 N/A
41 Mining-icon 42,000 N/A 26,055 N/A
61 Mining-icon 49,350 40,410 29,260 48,000
75 Mining-icon 52,290 48,400 30,325 58,000
85 Mining-icon 52,290 55,490 32,952 64,400
99 Mining-icon 52,290 61,740 35,140 69,800

General Advice Edit

  • Use the best Pickaxe relevant to your own Mining level. Higher quality pickaxes reduce the amount of time needed on average to mine the nodes.
  • The overall value of the Prospector's Kit is rather low, the extra XP (2.5% extra with the full kit equipped) is quite negligible, a whopping 1.5 XP more per node successfully mined within Motherlode. As such consider whether or not you want to dedicate your first 180 golden nuggets to an outfit which mostly only has use for unlocking a task on the hard Falador Diary. If just starting out consider instead the merits of the other rewards, the Coal Bag specifically is incredibly useful in Smithing in general and invaluable when used during the Blast Furnace.
  • As with leveling any skill in a location with no physical threats (with exception to the falling rocks) the only real threat is your own boredom from the monotony of the Minigame. Finding a source of background entertainment could very well cut into your productivity, lowering your overall XP gain per hour, but maintaining a level of interest is more likely to keep you committed to the task for longer hours at a time


  • At random intervals, players often gain some sort of boost that stops the pay-dirt mining animation somewhere at the start. Instantly giving them a piece of the pay-dirt vein and if you're lucky, the boost persists and will loop a few more times. (or until the vein is depleted)
  • 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.
  • When you examine a miner to the north-east inside Motherlode Mine, it will say: "Secretly, he'd like to save princesses and eat mushrooms", which is a reference to the popular Nintendo game Super Mario Bros.
  • 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.
  • When you examine Prospector Percy, it will say: "He smells a bit.", which is a reference to Stinky Pete, also known as Stinky Pete the Prospector, a character from Toy Story 2.
  • When you examine some miners, it will say: "Professional miners don't actually whistle while they work". This is a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, where they whistle and sing while mining. Also, professional miners are superstitious. Like in many other professions, whistling is believed to bring bad luck as it draws the attention of evil spirits.
  • 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).


  1. Mod Ash. "Boost Effectiveness Clarification". 8 Jun 2015. Twitter *
  2. Mod Ash. "Gold nugget rates". June 8 2015. Twitter *

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