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 Basic Mining
One way to easily get out of a mineshaft or other type of hole, or to even raise your height as to reach something, is to use the Elevator Method (a.k.a. Pillar Jumping). Other names are "Columning" or "Pillaring," as in to "Pillar up." The elevator method uses simple resources such as Sand or Dirt. To use this method, you look down, jump and add a block under you to raise yourself. This also works in reverse.
When mining in any situation, it is essential to carry an extra pickaxe or two (of ANY strength) or at least a workbench. Both of these items can help in a mining situation.
When mining deep underground, it can be helpful to have a chest (large or small) to store resources and/or extra tools. If you are using a minecart, you can put a chest inside the minecart to make a minecart with storage.
 Mineshaft Prospecting
There are multiple ways to mine for resources. First is the classic mineshaft, where you dig straight down until you find desired resources or hit bedrock. Then you can mine out around your shaft if desired. this is not recommended though you could hit lava and die on your way down.
 Prospecting gallery
You can expose every block in a volume using a regular pattern of prospecting galleries. All the galleries on one level are one block wide, two blocks tall, and separated by 3 unexcavated blocks. This pattern repeats every 4 blocks.
All the prospecting galleries on the next level are vertically displaced by 2 blocks, and horizontally displaced by 2 blocks.
The advantage of this pattern is that every block in the volume is visible from one of the galleries.
 Access incline
Prospecting galleries must be connected by access inclines. These take the form of 1:1 incline stairs.
 Access gallery
The access gallery connects prospecting galleries and access inclines to shafts.
 Ladder shaft
Mine blocks straight down with ladders. At regular intervals create an access gallery. Making the access gallery 2x2 helps distinguish it from prospecting galleries.
 Stair shaft
A stair shaft occupies a 5x5 column of blocks with the center 3x3 being unexcavated. The blocks at the corners will be flat landings. The 3 blocks in the middle of each side will be stairs.
When using a stair shaft the access galleries are best dug every 12 blocks. This is 10 blocks vertical unmined and 2 blocks vertical of shaft.
 Water/Drop Shaft
A combination of Base Jumping and Water Elevators is the fastest way to get in and out of mineshafts, provided you have enough space. Base jumping can be free jumping or a shaft straight down which then breaks (so you have space to get out) and lands in a pool with the same dimensions. See their respective pages for more details.
Before starting, get a lot of ladders, a shovel, and a pickaxe. Then find a flat area and make an E shape by digging into the ground. Use the grid below as a guide:
+ : Dug Ground
= : Undug Ground
- : Ladder
+==+==+==+==+==+==+ +==+==+==+==+==+==+ +==+==+==+==+==+==+ +==+==+==+==+==+==+ +==+==+==+==+==+==+ +==+==+==+==+==+==+ +++++++++++++++++++ *
After you make something like that, then just you just keep digging down.
 Diagram 1
The diagram to the right is a side view of a mine designed to expose almost all of the blocks in a volume. It does not illustrate access inclines.
An interfering gallery will intersect with the stair well in some way. If an attempt is made to continue the gallery through the stair it may render a portion of the stair or the gallery unusable. The best tactic is to stop mining before you reach the stair and install access inclines to travel to another prospecting gallery.
 Ideal depth
- Levels <5: Bedrock
- Levels <10 Lava, although Lava has been found on ground level.
- Levels <20 Diamond and Redstone
- Levels <40 Gold
- Everywhere: Iron and coal
- Ideal depth: 10-20