Interesting tidbit about using a Gold Spade on Iron Ore

On Ronnie’s world, New Coaldust there are very specific rules, 2 of the most important being no one is allowed use of a Portal Chest or a Trade Portal. Therefore everything must be crafted or mined.

As you can imagine, things like Coal, Black Sand, and Iron Ore are not to be passed up as you are exploring. In fact - I depleted all of the Black Sand near me on account of needing it for crafting some 60+ solar panels for my industry.

Now I have resorted to making my own Black Sand. (I bet a good number of you didn’t know you can do this!) But crafting your own Black Sand requires 3 Pig Iron + 1 Block of Sand. And to make the 5 Solar Wafers you need for Solar Panels you need at least 25 Black Sand - and this takes 75 Pig Irons!
(By the way - I’m close to running out of Sand, too - but that is easily crafted by crushing stone to gravel and converting the gravel to sand 1-for-1)

So, this got me thinking: I need LOTS of iron ore to make the Pig Iron but now I’m beginning to deplete the Iron ore near me as well. What do I do?!

Well, I have a Diamond Pickaxe, so I can easily get 18 Iron Ore for every Iron deposit I find. But is this the best I can do?

It all started with this Hypothesis:

Even though a Gold Spade is not the ideal tool to mine Iron with - it might be better than using a Gold Pickaxe because it takes far longer to mine a given ore deposit therefore allowing more chances to get the random Bonus 10 Ore. In fact - is using a Gold Spade even better in the long run than using a Diamond Pickaxe??? Could it be true?!


  1. First I crafted 10 Gold Spades to conduct my experiment with.
  2. Next, I explored until I found a good number of Iron Ore deposits from which I could mine.
  3. I carried 2 empty chests with me to store all the Ore and bonus Items that I obtained with the Gold Spades.
  4. Then I began mining the Ores until all 10 Gold Spades had worn out.
  5. After this I tabulated my results.


  1. It takes 256 chops with a Gold Spade to completely remove one deposit of Iron Ore.
  2. 256 is the exact wearability of the Gold Spade - therefore, in removing 10 Iron Deposits, I completely wore out 10 Gold Spades.
  3. Below is the Yield including all bonueses from the 10 Gold Spades:


  1. As you can see from the results above, the Gold Spade is reasonably competetive with the Diamond Pickaxe considering Iron Ore alone. 152 Ores vs. the excpected yield of 180 for a Diamond Pickaxe. (Diamond Picks always yield 18 ore, and 18 x 10 = 180)
  2. Taking into account the 7 Iron Ingots and 19 Steel Ingots which both require Iron Ore to craft in the first place and clearly the Gold Spade is statistically tied with the Diamond Pick!
  3. Finally - when all bonus items are taken into account, the Gold Spade actually trumps the Diamond Pick.
  4. So, what’s the downside? TIME. It takes excruciatingly long to mine even 1 Iron Ore deposite with the Gold Spade. But if you have the time - it is worth it.


  1. The best approach for maximizing Iron Ore yield would be to use a Gold Spade for the first 255 chops and then switch to a Diamond Pick to finish it off. By doing so, you could theoretically earn 330 Iron Ores for every 10 Ore Deposits! (Plus lots of other goodies).

Pretty cool, isn’t it? :cool:


That’s truly amazing info you have acquired! And the method which you approached your theory is scientific and clear, im in awe. I could not possibly count chops! I agree the downside is it’s too tedious to wait for the 255th chop before you diamond pick it. I might fall asleep just waiting! May I ask, perhaps you have timed the duration of mining one ore using gold spade? One can leave his bh mining for a bit, set an alarm then do something else while waiting!

Thanks so much for your research! I wish to up-rep you but my iPod only shows a report button :-/

Wow! Very well thought out! I will be using gold spades in the future whenever I can!

Yes - it takes almost exactly 1 Minute. I know this doesn’t seem very long, but when you are playing a game a 1-minute wait time is like an eternity. :wink:

Thanks guys. It’s good when you don’t mind waiting while you bang away with your gold shovel, but for the impatient among us (and this includes me), sometimes it’s more practical to just go at it with your trusty Diamond Pick.

An intermediate solution is to use a Gold Pickaxe for about 21 chops and then switch to Diamond. At least that way you have a chance of getting more ore while not having to wait too long in the process.

hi! thanks for providing the time. i actually tried this out. i don’t have double time btw. the time it took to completely dig out an iron ore block with gold spade is 1 minute and 14 seconds more or less. the gold spade is not 100% worn out after the ore is obtained. since i am not after ores really but their bonuses i don’t bother to finish it with a pick. i totally dig this kind of ore mining! if only time crystal ores weren’t fragile i would use gold spade on them as well.

That’s interesting that your Gold Spade didn’t wear out completely with Iron Ore. For me, after removing all 10 Iron Ore deposits, all ten spades were gone. I also actually counted to 256 for one of them.

By the way, if I estimate correctly, deposits of all other Ores can be removed after 128 chops, and therefore 2 deposits per Gold Spade. (Although I need to double check this for Titanium. You would think that Titanium would be as strong as Iron, if not stronger).

Anazing didn’t know that. this should be sticky if its not yet.:slight_smile:

@Skeeve, yes, the first of three gold spades that i used still had a lot of whacks in it left to hit the 2nd iron ore block. I got more than 3 ore blocks out of 3 spades. Maybe double time speeds up the whacks so the spade wears out faster? :confused:

It’s goodnto know that other ores give half the amount as iron. Thanks for this. At least i wont bother to use the spade on them as i dont need them and it’s just a waste of spade. I am unlucky finding titanium so I guess I will wait for your results on mining one. But i remember a little, on one occasion that i had mined titanium, it wasnt as hard to mine, i think? But that was long ago :slight_smile: besides titanium rarely occurs in large bunches, and digging a lot of iron blocks makes you think it takes forever (with steel and iron picks).

Wow… You actually counted the chops? Up rep from me (by only one point xD)

I also have double time and If I’m not mistaken it doesn’t affect your mining speed, only crafting.

Even 1 up-Rep is appreciated by most anyone :slight_smile: Yeah, I did actually count, but to make counting easier I used my fingers for every set of 8 chops. (Most tools wear out after some multiple of 8). Once I reached 8 fingers (which is 64 chops), I started over again. I just had to remember that I used 4 sets of 8 fingers (which comes to 256).

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Woah finger counting? That’s some serious counting there! XD btw i have been using gold spades ever since for iron ores. As always, each spade is not worn out fully after each digging. I think it has 5% durability left. AND i finally came across two titanium ore blocks! My hunch was correct, it IS softer than iron ore block! The spade was only half worn out after the ore was dug out. But since it was a valuable ore i was careful with the 2nd titanium ore block, before the spade’s meter ran out, i used a diamon pick on it. Got 21 ti ores out of that block but noticeably, there was less bonus drops compared to iron. So, i wouldn’t recommend gold spade on titanium. About titanium theoretically being harder than iron to dig, i think it is only hard when smelted into pure form, but the ore which contains it is not hard to break down.

ore iron 10 gold and black sand ore after diamonds cave with Rudy enlarged analog
to have to block heads sider server other

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What exactly do you mean by that? :question:

different ore iron under cave