The Efficient Mining Method – Minecraft

I have been playing minecraft for several years and I have always had a way of mining that I thought was most efficient. I have had discussions with friends who think that creating new tunnels every two blocks is more efficient than creating them every three blocks. I decided to put some numbers to the test to see how efficient and effective my method was in reality.

I typically mine in a 2×1 tunnel at y=11, and make a new tunnel every 4th block off the main line (That makes 3 in between each line). I mine at this level because it is the most prolific place to find diamonds and it avoids most lava that sits at level 11 as well. Additionally all the other resources are found here in abundance so it provides the most usable material per pick use. For this test I used efficiency 4, unbreaking 3 pick. I found a relatively solid area with few caves, caverns and mineshafts to get more accurate results.

Below this article you will see the average number of resources mined in a series of test I conducted. The tests clearly show that you will find more gold, diamond, and iron ore mining every three blocks as opposed to every two when starting a new tunnel. The results showed much more coal and redstone in the tunnels 3 apart and this is most likely because I can find more of these with the increased search area. Remember that a tunnel every 2 blocks still catches what a tunnel every 3 blocks catches but it covers less overall ground if it was more efficient we would see higher numbers of ore.

MineLayout2I recorded some additional information as well.  It appears that a typical pick of this stature will take approximately 1.5 hours to break. For maximum efficiency players should dig a 500 block long tunnel. This will roughly fill your inventory to full and take about 15min’s. *This is assuming that you fortune all possible materials. Place your items in a chest on that side of the tunnel and create a parallel tunnel to your starting tunnel that is 500 blocks back. This tunnel will stop you from going past 500 blocks and makes it easier to mine in sections. Once your items are safe dig back to the original tunnel 500 blocks. When you reach it you should have or almost have level 30 so spend this experience on whatever before continuing to mine. These steps make a very efficient mining method for material, time spent moving it, and experience gained.

Tunnel every 3 blocks:

Durability 1044 542 121 3×1
30min 30min 30min Sum
Cobblestone Cobblestone 1821 1723 1852 5396
dirt dirt 57 59 111 227
gravel gravel 73 43 40 156
flint flint 6 2 2 10
coal ore coal ore 220 278 240 738
Redstone ore Redstone ore 412.7 252 347 1011.7
Lapis ore Lapis ore 4 14 12 30
Iron ore Iron ore 113 115 95 323
Gold ore Gold ore 42 17 15 74
Diamond ore Diamond ore 19 42 7 68

Tunnel every 2 blocks:

Durability 722 100
70min 20min Sum
Cobblestone 3968 1339 5307
dirt 107 114 221
gravel 60 59 119
flint 22 10 32
coal ore 370 114 484
Redstone ore 653 199 852
Lapis ore 20 4 24
Iron ore 184 63 247
Gold ore 45 17 62
Diamond ore 29 15 44

Comparing the two tunnels:

3-2×1 2-2×1 Percentage Increase
Cobblestone 5396 5307 101.68%
dirt 227 221 102.71%
gravel 156 119 131.09%
flint 10 32 31.25%
coal ore 738 484 152.48%
Redstone ore 1011.7 852 118.74%
Lapis ore 30 24 125.00%
Iron ore 323 247 130.77%
Gold ore 74 62 119.35%
Diamond ore 68 44 154.55%

In the Percentage Increase it shows how much more was mined from a 3×1 tunnel, the only thing that didn’t generate an increase was flint, which is a byproduct of gravel.

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