"Now a miner, before he begins to mine the veins, must consider seven things, namely : the situation, the conditions, the water, the roads, the climate, the right of ownership, and the neighbours."
– Georgius Agricola, de Re Metallica
… but first of all the vein must be located. Prospecting allows you to search for suitable locations for conducting a mining operation.
Prospecting allows one to find the location of ore hidden underground.
As of the "Nickels and Dimes" update (25-4-2013), a second mine node type has been added, the Copper node, differentiated only by the color of the node on the ground when prospecting and the result of the Ore when smelted.
How to Prospect
To use, equip either a Woo-Woo-Wand or Dowsing Rods and toggle the skill in the Adventure Menu (V), Prospect (P). While active, a floating arrow appears above the characters head and will bounce around much like a compass needle trying to point north. It can go from bouncing randomly around to more stabilized direction. Direction is merely orientational, and once you walk close to an ore spot it will be marked as brown circular patch of ground with grey or brown lines covering it.
The easiest way to find an iron node is to use the regular Woo-Woo-Wand and zoom your camera out far and just wander around in a sort of large expanding circular pattern around the location you desire the Iron node. The prospecting arrow will lock on to a node only when the node is within render range in the world.
|Copper Node:||Iron Node:||Well Point:|