An ore is any uncommon rock-type block used to obtain specific resources.
Ore blocks are primarily collected for crafting purposes, such as for tools and armor. Redstone dust is obtained from redstone ore or deepslate redstone ore, which can be used to create redstone circuits. Refined ore can also be combined to create a block of the material's type.
Most ores drop their resource when mined, and require a Silk Touch pickaxe to drop themselves.
- Coal, diamond, emerald, their respective deepslate variants, and nether quartz ores drop 1 unit of their corresponding material.
- Iron, gold, and their respective deepslate variants drop 1 unit of their raw form.
- Copper and deepslate copper ores drop 2-5 raw copper.
- Redstone and deepslate redstone ores drop 4–5 redstone dust.
- Lapis lazuli and deepslate lapis lazuli ores drop 4–9 lapis lazuli.
- Nether gold ore drops 2–6 gold nuggets.
- Ancient debris is the exception; it drops itself when mined and must be smelted to obtain netherite scrap.
|Any ore + Any fuel|
|Raw Iron or
Raw Copper or
Raw Gold +
Ores can be smelted faster using a blast furnace.
It is not efficient to mine with Silk Touch and then smelt an ore block that normally drops multiple pieces of its resource, because smelting these ores yields less experience and only 1 piece of the resource. Nether gold ore is the only exception, as each ore block drops an average of 8.8 gold nuggets even when mined with Fortune III, which is less than a guaranteed gold ingot obtained from smelting the ore obtained using Silk Touch.
All types of ores can be placed under note blocks to produce "bass drum" sounds.
|Raw mineral block|
|Minimum pickaxe tier required||Wooden||Stone||Iron|
|Found in biome||Any||Dripstone
|Abundance||Very common||Common||Very common||Uncommon||Common||Rare||Common||Uncommon||Rare||Uncommon|
|Total range||0 to 320||-16 to 112||-64 to 64||-64 to 320||-64 to 32||-64 to 256||-64 to 16||-16 to 320|
|Most found in layers||95 and 136||48||-1||15 and 232||-16||32 to 256||-59||236|
|None at layers||-64 to -1||-64 to -17 and 113 to 320||65 to 320||73 to 79||31 to 320||257 to 320||15 to 320||16 to 320||-64 to -17|
|Generation attempts per chunk||20 (0 to 192),
30 (136 to 320)
|16 (-16 to 112)||2 (-32 to 32),
4 (-64 to 64)
|90 (80 to 384),
10 (-24 to 56), 10 (-64 to 72)
|4 (-64 to 32),
1 per 2 chunks (-64 to -48), 50 (32 to 256) (badlands)
|4 (-64 to 15),
8 (-96 to -32)
|7 (small blobs), 4 (midsize blobs), 1 per 9 chunks (large blobs) (-144 to 16)||100 (-16 to 480)|
|Air exposure||reduced exposure by 50%||full exposure||no exposure on some attempts||full exposure||reduced exposure on some attempts by 50%||full exposure||reduced exposure by 70%||full exposure|
|Nether Quartz||Nether Gold||Ancient Debris|
|Found in biome||Any Nether|
|Abundance||Very Common||Common||Very Rare|
|Most found in layers||10-114||15||13-17[g]|
|Commonly up to layers||120||95||23|
|Rare on layers||123-125||96-116||22-119|
|None at or above||128||117||120|
- This refers to coal ore blocks spawned in blobs and not as parts of fossils or mansion forges.
- Instead of multi-block blobs, emerald ore is placed in scattered blocks.
- Deepslate variants only generate in the deepslate under layer 0.
- Copper ore blobs generate in larger sizes in this biome.
- Gold ore has increased frequency in this biome.
- Deepslate variants replace only deepslate and tuff.
- Unlike most other ores, ancient debris' frequency peaks at layer 15, and quickly tapers off above and below.
|Java Edition Classic|
|May 21, 2009||Notch shows interest in adding ores.|
|0.0.14a||Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore and Gold Ore. They can be found in veins of two hundreds in average.|
|Ores could be found exposed only in amounts ranging from roughly 10 to 30 in a blob.|
|0.26 SURVIVAL TEST||Mining an ore now gives the corresponding block of it.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|0.31||20100128||Added Diamond Ore.|
|20100201-2||Ores can no longer be mined without a pickaxe.|
|Java Edition Infdev|
|20100320||Random ores are now placed randomly around the world.|
|20100327||Ores now replace stone upon a world reload.|
|20100330||The change of replacing stone upon a world reload has been reverted.|
|Java Edition Alpha|
|v1.0.1||Added Redstone Ore.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.2||Added Lapis Lazuli Ore.|
|Increased the sizes of iron and diamond ore blobs.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4||Coal, lapis lazuli, redstone, and diamond ore now also drop as ore blocks with Silk Touch.|
|May 21, 2012||Jeb released a screenshot of himself testing the trading system, showcasing Ruby Ore.|
|1.3.1||12w21a||Added Emerald Ore, which replaced Ruby ore.|
|12w22a||All ores (except iron and gold) now drop experience points when mined.|
|1.5||13w01a||Added Nether Quartz Ore.|
|1.16||20w06a||Added Ancient Debris.|
|20w11a||Added Nether Gold Ore.|
|20w12a||Nether gold ore now drops gold nuggets instead of itself.|
|October 3, 2020||Copper ore is revealed at Minecraft Live 2020.|
|1.17||20w45a||Added Copper Ore.|
|21w07a||Changed ore distribution. See Ore/Pre-1.17 distribution for the old distribution.|
|February 17, 2021||Henrik Kniberg showcases deepslate (then grimstone) variants of Overworld ore.|
|21w08a||Added Deepslate Iron Ore, Deepslate Gold Ore, Deepslate Diamond Ore, Deepslate Redstone Ore and Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore.|
|The new ore distribution has been tweaked.|
|21w10a||Added Deepslate Coal Ore, Deepslate Emerald Ore and Deepslate Copper Ore.|
|They don't generate in Survival mode as they are intended for map and datapack creators use.|
|Fossils that generate below Y=0 now generate with deepslate diamond ore.|
|Tweaked again the ore distribution.|
|21w13a||Iron ore and diamond ore distribution has been slightly tweaked.|
|Copper ore now generates uniformly between levels 0 and 63 instead of generating with a normal curve from 0 to 96.|
|21w14a||If iron, gold and copper ores are broken without Silk Touch, they will drop raw metal instead.|
|21w15a||All of the changes to Ore distribution made in the last few snapshots have been reverted and moved to the prototype data pack.|
|21w16a||Deepslate emerald ore now generates naturally.|
|Added ore veins in the prototype data pack, which contain copper ore and deepslate iron ore.|
|21w17a||Deepslate coal ore and Deepslate copper ore now generate naturally.|
|1.18||Experimental Snapshot 1||All previous changes to ore distribution from the prototype data pack have now been implemented into the base game.|
|Deepslate emerald ore and deepslate coal ore no longer generate naturally.|
|experimental snapshot 4||Increased the size of copper ore blobs in dripstone caves.|
|Increased the amount of iron ore in mountains.|
|21w38a||Copper ore now generates up to Y 95, matching the latest ore distribution chart.|
|Lapis lazuli ore now generates in blobs instead of being spread out.|
|21w40a||Deepslate emerald ore can now generate naturally.|
|21w44a||Deepslate coal ore can now generate naturally, again.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.1.0||Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore and Lapis Lazuli Ore.|
|v0.3.0||Coal ore now drops coal.|
|Lapis lazuli ore now drops lapis lazuli.|
|v0.3.2||Diamond ore now drops a diamond.|
|Iron and gold ores are now smeltable into ingots.|
|v0.8.0||build 2||Redstone ore now drops redstone dust.|
|v0.9.0||build 1||Added Emerald Ore.|
|v0.12.1||build 1||Added Nether Quartz Ore.|
|Mining ores now gives experience.|
|1.16.0||beta 126.96.36.199||Added Ancient Debris.|
|beta 188.8.131.52||Added Nether Gold Ore.|
|Caves & Cliffs (experimental)||beta 184.108.40.206||Added Copper Ore.|
|beta 220.127.116.11||Copper ore can no longer be randomly rotated.|
|1.17.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Added Deepslate Coal Ore, Deepslate Copper Ore, Deepslate Iron Ore, Deepslate Gold Ore, Deepslate Diamond Ore, Deepslate Redstone Ore, Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore and Deepslate Emerald Ore|
|Ore is generated as normal, when the ore is generated where Deepslate has been generated, deepslate ore is generated instead.|
|beta 22.214.171.124||If iron, gold and copper ores are broken without Silk Touch, they will drop raw metal instead.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU1||CU1||1.00||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore and Lapis Lazuli Ore.|
|TU7||All ores (except iron and gold) now drop experience points when mined.|
|TU14||1.04||Added Emerald Ore and Nether Quartz Ore.|
|New Nintendo 3DS Edition|
|0.1.0||Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore, Lapis Lazuli Ore, Emerald Ore and Nether Quartz Ore.|
This graph shows the actual amount of ores found in a relatively small but untapped world as of Java Edition 1.12.2
Caves and Cliffs development
An image showing another texture for deepslate Diamond Ore which improves on blending the ore texture with the base deepslate.
- Since it is exclusive to only two categories of overworld biomes (mountains and windswept hills), emerald ore is actually rarer than ancient debris per chunk.
- The texture of ores were changed in 1.17 to make them distinct for color blind players.
- "... and this is why I'm playing with Testificates: (work in progress, as usual)" – @jeb_ (Jens Bergensten) on Twitter, May 21, 2012
- snapshot 12w21a/b lang/en_US.lang: tile.oreRuby.name=Ruby Ore
- "Adjusted the new ores. If you are color blind, please give feedback - and state what kind of color blindness you have :)" – @JasperBoerstra (Jasper Boerstra) on Twitter, February 18, 2021