Updated Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by Aurael
In order to gain level quickly, you will need to find the areas with the most ore per zone. This is due to the way mining skill is gained. A very small amount of skill can be gained from smelting. Therefore, the best way to gain skill in mining is just to run out and mine minerals.
This guide is made to help you level mining quickly. For more information on mining nodes and mining in general, please refer to our Mining Guide.
The absolute best areas to mine copper for the Alliance is the Dun Morogh and Loch Modan areas. As always, this will go much quicker if you are high enough level to run past the mobs and even faster if you are able to be mounted.
The best way to get the most nodes is to just follow the mountains. Don't forget to have your mining tracker on.
Start outside Ironforge. Head west along the mountains. Follow the mountains almost the entire way around Dun Morogh. Make sure to go inside the Gol'Bolar Quarry. When you get to the South Gate Pass head on to Loch Modan. Just like Dun Morogh, mountains circle this area, so once again, just follow the mountains all the way around. Don't neglect the Silverstream Mine as well. One circuit around both areas should get you a good 50-70 copper (more if you've hit it on a good day).
Also remember that Dun Morogh is so mountainous and rocky that you can find copper ore nearly anywhere. You don't necessarily need to just follow the mountains around. Just look for any area there with rocks or a cliff.
Mulgore is quite profitable when mining for copper. Once again, follow the mountains in a circuit around the zone. Skip the Camp Narache area. One circuit around this zone should net you 50-60 copper ore or more.
Copper will get you to a skill of 65. At this time, it's probably a good idea to go grab your journeyman training from a mining trainer. Now you can start mining tin. You will want to work on Tin, Silver, Incendite and Lesser Bloodstone to get from 66-125.
Tin can be a pain to find. It is few and far between.
A good place for tin is the Rethban Caverns in the Redridge Mountains. You really only need to worry about getting your mining up to 75 with tin. Once you get to 75 skill, you can mine Incendite and Lesser Bloodstone.
Thousand Needles is the best place to find tin for the horde side. Look inside caves (such as the one in Screeching Canyon).
Both Horde and Alliance can mine the Incendite ore and lesser bloodstone, even though the quest for the Incendite is an Alliance only quest.
Incendite ore is found in a cave full of spiders in the north of the Wetlands. It is called Thelgan Rock. This ore is for a quest, but has a pretty good spawn rate. So you should be able to get to 125 just on this ore.
Lesser Bloodstone is another quest ore that can be mined after you reach 75 skill. It is located in a cave in northeast Arathi Highlands. It is just east of Hammerfall.
At level 125, go back to the mining trainer for Expert training.
The best route I've found for iron spans both the Hillsbrad Foothills and Arathi Highlands. It's a bit easier for the Alliance than it is for the Horde, though both could use this route.
Start along the coast east of Southshore and run towards Dun Garok. You will find mostly tin until you reach Dun Garok. Iron, however, spawns all around Dun Garok and the coast near there.
At Dun Garok, head north following Thoradin's Wall. You will find some iron along the rocks near the span. Get the iron that spawns in the mountains north east of Durnholde Keep. Then slip through the crack in Thoradin's Wall into Arathi Highlands. Follow the mountains all the way around the Arathi Highlands. You will find iron and mithril in those mountains. Mithril is more prevalent than iron in the mountains south of Stromgarde Keep and around Faldir's Cove, but you will still be able to find iron there as well.This run should yield about 30+ iron ore.
Remember that gold can spawn in iron spots and gold ore is one of the few ores that gives you gains while smelting. You can gain skill smelting gold ore from 150-175.
Make sure to train for Expert skill at 150 skill, so that you can continue to gain.
The best place for mithril ore is the Hinterlands. One circuit around the Other good spots is the Blasted Lands and Tanaris. Again, just do a circuit.
Remember to go train for your Artisan Skill at 225.
At level 250, you can start mining Thorium.
The Un'goro Crater is a great place for Thorium. Explore the Slithering Scar and Fire Plume Ridge for thorium as well as the mountains around the edge.
Burning Steppes is another great place to find Thorium. Just make circuits around it. Nodes will also spawn in the lava cracks here, so a trip through the Steppes is worth it as well. It takes a ton of Thorium to get to 300, but thorium is used in many professions and sells quite well.
If you have the Burning Crusade expansion, you can train Master mining. This enables you to raise your skill to 375 and you can mine Fel Iron, Adamantite and Khorium. It is generally considered easier to mine while riding a flying mount. However, all of the areas we describe can be reached with a regular land mount.
At level 300 you can begin mining Fel Iron.
You can mine Fel Iron anywhere in the Outlands, but the best area for it is Hellfire Peninsula. This area is rocky and bordered by mountains, so fel iron can be found all over this zone. Running a circuit around the mountainous border of the area will yield a good batch of nodes. Don't forget to check behind the Dark Portal. You will want to stay in Hellfire until you reach about 330 mining.
At 330 mining, you will want to head to Nagrand. It's the next best place to work on your mining. Fel Iron can still be found in this zone, as well as the next mineral, Adamantite.
This ore can be found in every zone in the Outlands except Hellfire Peninsula. Nagrand is the best place to start mining this. It can be mined starting at a skill level of 325. You can only mine the regular adamantite deposits to begin with. Circling Nagrand is a good way to find lots of ore. There are a few valleys and crevices in the middle of this section as well that ore can be found in.
Once you hit a skill level of 350, you can begin mining the rich adamantite deposits. You will still gain from fel iron and the regular adamantite deposits, however.
You can find more adamantite in Shadowmoon Valley. Following the road (it creates a circuit around the zone) is one way to search for ore. It can be quite productive.
Once you hit 375 mining, your skill will be maxxed and you can now mine the highest level ore - Khorium. Khorium spawns any place that adamantite and fel iron spawns. It is a rare spawn and is found all over Outland.