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  • Smelting Success - A Mining Guide

    MINING IS NOT A GATHERING PROFESSION

    Okay well maybe Mining CAN be used to gather some ore and pretty jewels, but that is not where this profession's true greatness lies. Out of all of the gathering professions, Mining has the distinction of being the only one that is ALSO a crafting profession! That's right, I'm talking about SMELTING!

    As of now professions like Engineering and Blacksmithing feed on A LOT of smelted bars to level up and to craft mounts and transmog pieces. The trick is figuring out which ones produce consistent profit and stay at a high price because of high demand.



    SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING:

    Point #1: Smelting bars that take several different materials usually have the least amount of competition. Most people only smelt bars that require just one type of ore.

    Point #2: Bars that only require a 1 to 1 ratio of ore to bar can have extreme profit potential since many people assume all bars take 2 ores in their cost calculations.

    Point #3: Understanding the most common quantities of bars needed can help immensely with deciding what stack quantities to list your bars in. With any bar, always have some of them listed in stacks of one. Many people don't and it allows you to gouge on your singles for those folks who just want a few bars.
    For higher quantity stacks here's a for instance; One of the more popular things [Titansteel Bar] is used for is to make [Mekgineer's Chopper]/[Mechano-hog] which requires 12 of them. So I always list my [Titansteel Bar] in stacks of 1, as well as in 4s, 8s, and 12s allowing the buyer options on how he gets his 12 bars and allowing me to move the bars quicker(if I only listed stacks of 12 I would lose a sale from someone who is already holding a couple). Do your research on the quantities needed of bars you are selling and try things out. Many times a good ol' stack of 20 is the way to go, but refining your stack quantities can definitely increase sales/profit margins and make your bars more likely to sell before your competition's.



    SMELTING SUCCESS - ALL STAR BARS



    The following is a list of my "all star bars." These bars have extreme profit margins or extremely high demand(sometimes both).



    [Enchanted Elementium Bar]

    Materials Required: [Arcanite Bar] x 10, [Elementium Ingot] x 1, [Fiery Core] x 1, [Elemental Flux] x 3

    My Production Cost Price Range(PR): 150-250g
    My Sale PR: 750-950g
    Average Profit: 650g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10

    Comments: This is my favorite bar to smelt, bar-none(pun intended). One of the reasons smelting this bar can be so successful is what I point out in #1 above, it takes quite a few materials to make one of these bars. This is a GREAT thing! The reason people buy this bar is that 10 of them are needed to complete the legendary [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]. The fact that the bars themselves are also legendary adds to the bar's perceived value in the eyes of the buyer. To truly get the most from this you need to have a transmute spec Alchemist to smelt your own [Arcanite Bar], this will easily save you the most money in production as [Arcane Crystal] is often way cheaper than the bar. For the [Elementium Ingot] just keep an eye on the AH, the price on these things can fluctuate wildly but with patience I never spend more than 30g each on them and I always have plenty of stock. Also of note, when you post these in a stack of 10 you can overcut the market and still sell your bars, especially if the AH's supply dries up. If one seller has 7 stacks of 1 up at 750g, and you post your stack of 10 bars for 950g each it is quite possible a buyer who needs the full 10 will just go ahead and buy your stack.

    Pros: Extreme profit margins, minimal competition.
    Cons: Lower demand than most bars
    Learned From: [Goblin's Guide to Elementium] which is dropped by Master Elemental Shaper Krixix in Blackwing Lair. If your Miner does not have this Smelting recipe yet, go get it!
    Skill Required: 300

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    [Titansteel Bar]

    Materials Required: [Titanium Bar] x 3, [Eternal Fire] x 1, [Eternal Shadow] x 1, [Eternal Earth] x 1

    My Production Cost PR: 90-120g
    My Sale PR: 190-250g
    Average Profit: 100g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 4, 8, 12

    Comments: This bar is amazing. The demand on it stays consistent due to the items I mentioned in Point #3 above, as well as a few cool looking items for transmog. It also requires several different materials(see Point #1). I try to keep my production cost on each item in this smelt to no more than 20g each average. Understanding the different pathways to the materials can help immensely in keeping your production costs down, so remember that [Titanium Bar] is not only smelted from [Titanium Ore] x 2, but can also be transmuted by an alchemist from [Saronite Bar] x 8. It is rarely cost effective, but it is something to keep an eye on.
    Also, regarding the Eternals used, Fire is usually the most expensive. Don't forget to check the AH for the Crystallized versions of each eternal. If you can get [Crystallized Fire] x 10 for cheaper than an Eternal Fire that's always a win. Also, keep an eye out for [Frozen Orb]! There is a vendor in the Magus Commerce Exchange of Dalaran named Frozo the Renowned who will trade you any Eternal for one [Frozen Orb] and this is often the cheapest way to get [Eternal Fire]

    Pros: Minimal competition, medium demand, can produce cheaply when you understand all the pathways
    Cons: Material costs often spike making it harder to produce in bulk
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 450

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    [Titanium Bar]

    Materials Required: [Titanium Ore] x 2 OR [Saronite Bar] x 8(Alchemy Transmute)

    My Production Cost PR: 15-20g
    My Sale PR: 30-40g
    Average Profit: 15g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 3, 10, 20

    Comments: I will admit something up front, I rarely sell this bar. I almost always turn these further into [Titansteel Bar], but the profit potential of this bar should not be ignored. If you find yourself with a large supply of Titansteel and a consistent supply of the reagents for this bar, then by all means sell it in this form! The profit potential is definitely there. Always be keeping an eye out for cheap Titanium Ore and Saronite Ore/Bars.

    Pros: Multiple ways this bar can be produced
    Cons: Hard to produce in bulk
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 450(Mining) or 395(Alchemy)

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    [Felsteel Bar]

    Materials Required: [Fel Iron Bar] x 3, [Eternium Bar] x 2

    My Production Cost PR: 15-25g
    My Sale PR: 50-75g
    Average Profit: 40g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 4, 10, 20

    Comments: This bar's profit potential once again is explained in Point #1 above. I definitely recommended smelting the Fel Iron and Eternium yourself to keep your costs down. I almost always find [Eternium Ore] x 2 to be cheaper than a bar as Eternium cannot be prospected which lessens its demand considerably. Felsteel Bars are used in several nice transmog pieces including [Felsteel Longblade] which is one of my favorite transmog pieces to sell. This is also used in making [Felsteel Stabilizer] which is an important craft for engineers.

    Pros: Minimal competition
    Cons: Sells slower than most bars on the list
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 350


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    [Khorium Bar]

    Materials Required: [Khorium Ore] x 2

    My Production Cost PR: 10-15g
    My Sale PR: 25-35g
    Average Profit: 15g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10, 20

    Comments: Khorium Bars are great for gouging as the rarity of the ore that produces them keeps the supply quite low. There isn't an extreme demand on them, but they are used in quite a few transmog pieces as well as an important engineer craft the [Khorium Power Core].

    Pros: As stated this bar is easy to gouge with
    Cons: Hard to produce in bulk
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 375

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    [Dark Iron Bar]

    Materials Required: [Dark Iron Ore] x 8

    My Production Cost PR: 4-8g
    My Sale PR: 30-45g
    Average Profit: 35g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 4, 6, 10, 20

    Comments: The profit margins on this bar as you can see above are quite good. The caveat is the difficulty in smelting this bar, which is great because that's what gives this bar such high profits. This bar is distinct in that it can only be smelted at a specific forge in the game called the Black Forge. That forge is within the dungeon Blackrock Depths. What also distinct about this bar is that you have to learn the recipe to smelt it from a quest within Blackrock Depths.

    Pros: Effort required to produce helps minimize competition.
    Cons: Effort required to produce helps minimize production.
    Skill Required: 230
    Learned From: See Guide Below


    If you have not yet learned this recipe, you will need to bring the following items with you: [Star Ruby] x 2, [Gold Bar] x 20, and [Truesilver Bar] x 10. These items are required to complete the quest The Spectral Chalice.

    Below is a step by step screenshot guide of how to complete this quest as well as how to get to the Black Forge:

    When you first enter Blackrock Depths find the mole machine on the right.



    Right click the machine and then choose the option "Just past the Grim Guzzler."



    After that go through the door straight ahead and to the right.



    Keep heading along and take a left in Ambassador Flamelash's room until you get to the Mold Foundry. Continue on past this room until you arrive in The Summoner's Tomb. Head to the right and find Gloom'rel and talk to him to receive the quest The Spectral Chalice. Do what he asks and then turn in.



    Voila! You can now smelt Dark Iron Bars! Now to find the forge. To get past the Summoner's Tomb, you have to unlock the door which requires fighting the 7 NPCs in the room. To start the encounter you have to speak to and challenge Doom'rel at the back of the room.



    After defeating all 7 NPCs the door unlocks. Head through and take an immediate right. Head down the ramp and take the left fork before reaching the elementals and across the metal bridge. Kill the elemental guarding the forge and you've done it! Smelt your heart out!



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    [Cobalt Bar]

    Materials Required: [Cobalt Ore] x 1

    My Production Cost PR: 4-5g
    My Sale PR: 7-9gg
    Average Profit: 3g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10, 20

    Comments: Cobalt Bars are great for 2 reasons. First, they are a chokepoint material needed in heavy quantities by profession leveling. Second, they are produced on a 1 to 1 ratio(which as I point out in Point #2 above, is always a good thing). Demand on the bars often exceeds supply of the ores keeping the price of this bar quite high.

    Pros: Chokepoint material, heavy demand
    Cons: Heavy competition
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 350

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    [Fel Iron Bar]


    Materials Required: [Fel Iron Ore] x 2

    My Production Cost PR: 4-6g
    My Sale PR: 8-10g
    Average Profit: 3g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10, 20

    Comments: Just like Cobalt Bars, Fel Iron Bars are a chokepoint material. They don't sell quite as fast as Cobalt Bars do, but there is definitely a demand there. Don't forget, this bar is also a material for smelting [Felsteel Bar] which is great when you have a heavy stock of Fel Iron and need other ways to turn it into some gold.

    Pros: Chokepoint material, can be processed into further bars
    Cons: Heavy competition
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 275

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    [Obsidium Bar]

    Materials Required: [Obsidium Ore] x 2

    My Production Cost PR: 6-8g
    My Sale PR: 10-12g
    Average Profit: 4g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10, 20

    Comments: Yet another chokepoint material, Obsidium Bars are in very heavy demand by profession levelers. There are very few Obsidium Ore nodes in the game which is a good and bad thing, but it definitely helps keep the price high which adds to profit potential.

    Pros: Chokepoint material
    Cons: Hard to produce in bulk due to limited supply of ore
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 425

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    [Saronite Bar]


    Materials Required: [Saronite Ore] x 2

    My Production Cost PR: 5-7g
    My Sale PR: 10-12g
    Average Profit: 5g per bar
    Suggested Stack Quantities: 1, 10, 20

    Comments: While I wouldn't personally definite Saronite as a chokepoint, it does have a consistently high demand. The trick is to stay picky about when your purchase the ore for smelting as the supply fluctuates quite a bit. Don't forget that this bar(x 8) can also be processed by Alchemy into [Titanium Bar].

    Pros: Good demand, can be processed into further bars
    Cons: Market fluctuation, plenty of competition
    Learned From: Mining Trainer
    Skill Required: 400

    HONORABLE MENTIONS

    Below is a list of bars that definitely have profit potential, just maybe not quite a good as my "all-star" list above:

    [Thorium Bar] - Produces on a 1 to 1 ratio and still in good demand to this day. Profit per bar is just a bit low.

    [Mithril Bar] - See Thorium Bar.

    [Hardened Elementium Bar] - If you find this bar to have minimal competition on your server, there is definite profit potential here as it requires multiple materials to produce. It's a bit of a niche market that competition can ruin quick.

    [Hardened Khorium] - To learn how to smelt this bar you need to get the [Study of Advanced Smelting] to drop for you in Sunwell Plateau. It is only used in 7 recipes in the entire game, many of which are jewelry pieces with no transmog value. However, there is some very minimal demand and as long as you're prepared for very slow sales you could make some potentially large profits here.

    [Hardened Adamantite Bar] - Another potential niche market. Not a ton of demand but if there's minimal competition I'd recommend trying this market out.


    FINAL THOUGHTS

    This was a really fun guide to write as I have only recently begun to appreciate just how much of a cash cow Mining can be. Remember, Mining is a CRAFTING PROFESSION! If you've had success in these markets or have had success smelting any bars I haven't listed here, please feel free to share. Thanks for reading, and if this was helpful to you I would very much appreciate a +rep!

    Now get out there and Smelt your heart out!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Smelting Success - A Mining Guide started by Argalin View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Bill G's Avatar
      Bill G -
      How fortuitous! My very first toon in WoW was a JC/Miner. While I have done well with her as a JC, I had come to the realization that I never use her for farming (mining). I had decided to drop the mining profession when I ran across your article and discovered the hidden smelting gem. Thanks so much for re-directing my attention and showing me what an effective gold maker smelting can be.
    1. FlopsyPrince's Avatar
      FlopsyPrince -
      Is this still valid with the 5.2 blacksmithing changes?
    1. Argalin's Avatar
      Argalin -
      Quote Originally Posted by FlopsyPrince View Post
      Is this still valid with the 5.2 blacksmithing changes?
      It has yet to hurt my bar sales in the slightest.