Ore Deposits are rocks found across Hyrule that can be destroyed for Materials in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are large and shiny rocks that can be destroyed by Link to mine gems and mineral based materials. The deposits contain a good deal of ores and breaking the rock will yield Rock Salt, Flint, and other ore and materials of varying value. Additionally Ore Deposits appear as the weak point for all types of Talus Mini-boss. They are classified in the "Treasure" section of the Hyrule Compendium along when Treasure Chest. Ore Deposits can be broken when most weapons though generally it is best to use weapons such as the Iron Sledgehammer, Cobble Crusher, Stone Smasher, Boulder Breaker, and Drillshaft as they can break Ore Deposits in a single hit. Interestingly metallic, "Guardian" series, and "Ancient" series weapons cause Ore Deposits to produce sparks like Flint that can light wooden objects on fire and arrow tips can also produce sparks if they hit Ore Deposits which will light the arrow on fire. This indicates their basic composition is similar to Flint.
Mining Ore Deposits in Hyrule is big business to the point Goron City's economy is primarily centered around it with the Goron Group Mining Company running an industrial scale mining operation that focuses on mining high value gemstones with minerals being acquired as a valuable by-product of the mining process. As Gemstones are not considered viable as food as most Gorons consider them gross snacks they are more than happy to trade them to other races which the Goron's discovered was quite lucrative leading to Goron City's prosperity. The Zora are also implied to mine Luminous Stone Ore Deposits found in Lanayru Great Spring which is used primarily in the Zora's unique form of architecture and stonemasonry. Link also encounters signs of mining on Tingel Island, Ankel Island, Knuckel Island, Davdi Island, and Ulria Grotto though on a smaller scale which were presumably active in the past before the Great Calamity. Some travelers like the Hylian Brokka and Gerudo Ramella engage in ore mining as a lucrative and safer business venture than scavenging or treasure hunting. Notably both are women showing women miners exist in Hyrule. Gemstones are often used in blacksmithing and by the Gerudo to make jewelry or clothing, while Rito use rubies to create Snowquill Headdress thus ore mining supports various industries from architecture, blacksmithing, armor manufacturer, and crafting jewelry. Link himself can use ore mining as an easy way to acquire Rupees while he can use Flint as a firestarter and Rock Salt in Cooking. Gemstones are valuable to Link for upgrading or even crafting equipment as well as reforging certain weapons. Link can also hunt Talus to acquire large amounts of gemstones and Flint in addition to ore mining or combine the two activaties as most weapons useful in mining are effective against Talus.
While Gorons use Cannons, mine Carts, pickaxes, and according to the drillshaft's description excavation drills in mining Hylians such as Link must rely on Sledgehammers, Bombs, Bomb Arrows and other weapons useful in mining, though Link has access to Remote Bombs through the Sheikah Slate while other Hylians are implied to rely on conventional bombs or bomb arrows. Though bombs are more efficient they tend to scatter gemstones and minerals and are dangerous while weapons eventually break though Iron Sledgehammer are easily obtained. Link and his weapon's attack power effects how easy his melee weapons can break Ore Deposits thus weapons with high attack power can also be used to break Ore Deposits more easily though this does effect their durability more than weapons that actually function as mining tools like Drillshaft and Iron Sledgehammer. Link can also increase his attack power to break Ore deposits more easily with weapons which would normally take several hits to break. Bomb Arrows are useful for Ore Deposits on walls and under cliffs. Weak Walls and ice may occasionally conceal Ore Deposits forcing miners to clear them to access said Ore Deposits.
Drillshafts, Iron Sledgehammers, and the three Goron Hammer Swords are all effective mining tools. Explosives such as Remote Bombs, Bomb Arrows, and even Bomb Barrels can also be used to in mining though their explosions tend to scatter gemstones and minerals contained within while Bomb Arrows are dangerous to use in volcanic areas, and Bomb Barrels must be used with care as they explode when hit or exposed to fire or impact unless locked in Stasis as well as only appearing in certain locations. Bomb Arrows can run out forcing Link to purchase or find more of them and require a Bow to fire them with each time any arrow is fired reducing the bow's durability. Remote Bombs however are a cost-effective method as Link can use them practically anywhere and can set them off safely, though they do have to recharge between uses though Link can use round or cubed bombs as each has its own separate charge though both bombs can be effected by wind as they are light weight. Gorons utilize unobtainable pickaxes and unseen excavation drill bores though these are generally used to excavate harder rocks and stone to reach Ore Deposits contained within as tools used on Ore Deposits are unsuited to this task. Any melee weapon capable of destroying a Weak Wall or Pebblit by hitting it essentially counts as a mining tool. Gorons have Iron Sledgehammers around their homes and mines thus they presumably use them to break Ore deposits they've excavated though generally focus on mining rare ore. The three Goron Hammer Swords Cobble Crushers, Stone Smasher, and Boulder Breaker all double as mining tools though are generally wielded by Goron warriors and guards though as they are presumably designed to combat Talus and Pebblits they are also effective as mining tools. Drillshafts can be seen as a mixture of Goron polearm and mining tool as their tips are made from old recycled excavation drill bores making them effective against Talus, Pebblits, Ore Deposits, and Weak Walls.
Even though other weapons can break Ore Deposits easily if their or Link's attack power is high enough though they will always be ineffective at breaking Weak Walls or Pebblits and breaking ore deposits effects their durability more than melee weapons used as mining tools thus they are not true mining tools and act as more improvised mining tools that break if overused for said purpose though can be still be useful in breaking Ore Deposits should Link's mining tools break and he wishes to avoid using explosives.
Talus have a special Ore Deposit on their body which are the only truly vulnerable part of their stony body and seem to play some role in maintaining their body structure as Talus collapse and die when they are destroyed. All Talus mini-boss have a single Ore Deposit weak point. However Talus Ore Deposits are stronger than normal Ore Deposits thus take more hits to break as they shatter completely when a Talus' life meter is depleted. Most Talus have Ore Deposits on top of their main body or alternatively on their back. Link can climb Talus to reach ones on top and the ones on their back when they collapse after their Ore Deposits are hit by any explosive which stuns them. Frost Talus collapse when their icy exterior thaws after being hit by fire elemental weaponry, a lit arrow, burning wooden weapon, Red Chuchu Jelly, or Fire Arrows. Igneo Talus and Igneo Talus Titan collapse when their magma hot bodies are cooled by ice elemental weaponry, White Chuchu Jelly, or Ice Arrows However Talus will try to throw Link off and move to keep their back ore deposits protected though certain attacks by Talus leave them exposed. These Ore Deposits are vulnerable to the same methods and weaponry Link uses to mine ore deposits. Mining weapons, Remote Bombs, and Bomb Arrows are all effective against Talus though since Igneo Talus and Igneo Talus Titan live in volcanic areas which cause Bomb Arrows to instantly explode prematurely whem drawn damaging Link using them should be avoided although Link could use them as a form of kamikaze style attack at close range provided he has Mipha's Grace, Fairies, Enhanced Defense, or high enough health to survive the explosion. Remote Bombs are also sometimes hard to use against Talus though Bomb Arrows are generally effective against non-Igneo variants though they cannot be used if it is raining which also makes climbing Talus harder as well thus Link should avoid confronting Talus during rainy weather conditions. Link can also wear "Unfreezeable" armor (Zant's Helmet or Snowquill set upgraded to two stars or higher) to scale Frost Talus without thawing them and can wear "Fireproof" armor (Flamebreaker set upgraded to two stars or higher) to scale Igneo Talus without cooling them down.
Pebblits lack Ore Deposits though are vulnerable to the same weaponry as their mini-boss counterparts and Ore Deposits are though they are impervious to non-mining weapons. Pebblits however can also be picked up and thrown causing them to die leaving behind certain gemstones or Flint.
Types of Ore Deposits
There are three type of Ore Deposits depending on the rarity of the gems:
- "This deposit contains a good deal of ore. Breaking the rock will yield rock salt, flint, and other ore and minerals of varying value."
- — Hyrule Compendium description
The standard type of ore deposit which commonly produces Flint, Rock Salt, and Amber when broken, though may rarely produce rare gemstones such as Opal, Ruby, Topaz, Sapphire, and even Diamond though very rarely. They also appear as the weak point for Stone Talus mini-bosses.
List of Ore/Gemstones
Rare Ore Deposit
- "This deposit contains a good deal of precious ore and the occasional rare mineral, like ruby and sapphire. Break it open to see what it has to offer!"
- — Hyrule Compendium description
Rare Ore Deposits are bigger and have growths that tend to sparkle. They tend to produce rare gemstones more often, though occasionally produce the more common Flint as well. Additionally they appear as the weak point of the Stone Talus (Rare) mini-boss variant.
List of Ore/Gemstones
Luminous Stone Deposit
- "This deposit contains quite a bit of luminous stone. Crack it open to get at the easily processed rocks within."
- — Hyrule Compendium description
Luminous Stone Deposits tend to contain mostly Luminous Stone, though occasionally produce Flint as well. Due to being made of mostly Luminous Stone, this type of ore deposit glows at night or in dark areas such as Thyphlo Ruins making them easier to differentiate between them and normal Ore Deposits. Additionally they also appear as the weak point for the Stone Talus (Luminous) mini-boss variant.