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DF2014:Raw adamantine

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Raw adamantine
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Fire-safe Magma-safe

Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.
Dwarf head pixel.png  This article or section contains minor spoilers. You may want to avoid reading it.

Raw adamantine is the ore of adamantine. It is absurdly valuable, and can be processed into one of the most valuable materials in the game, both in monetary value and utility. Its discovery is both a blessing and a curse; it has a massive value even unrefined, and weapons and armor made from it are among the best possible. Its high melting point means you can easily use it to build magma-safe mechanisms and floodgates, but this is not recommended due to its scarcity and value in other items.

Raw adamantine has a material multiplier of ×250. For a comparison to other mined materials, generic stone has a MM of ×1, obsidian ×3, native silver × 10, native gold ×30, and native platinum ×40. Processed adamantine "metal" has a multiplier of ×300, the highest in the game of any material.

Raw adamantine, along with the objects forged from it, cannot be spawned in the object testing arena nor during embarking, presumably for balance reasons.

Adamantine is so valuable, both in price and usefulness, that a special message pops up when your miners discover a vein of it:
Raw adamantine! Praise the miners!

It glows with rare value!


Every map can contain adamantine, regardless of location. Very small maps can lack adamantine veins; usually, however, multiple veins are present (~1 per 4 embark squares). If an adamantine vein is located in an embark square, it will be in the center of this square.

More specific statistics, summarized from this forum post:

There is one adamantine vein generated in every 2×2 embark grid, randomly placed. Thus, every 16×16 region square has exactly 64 veins. A 2×2 embark aligned to the grid will have exactly 1 vein, while a 2×2 embark offset from the grid may have as few as none or as many as 4. Over all the possible configurations of 2×2 embarks, your odds are as follows: 20.4% for zero veins, 60.6% for one vein, 17.8% for two veins, 1.8% for three veins, and 0.1% for four veins, with an average (not surprisingly) of 1.
A 3×3 embark is guaranteed to have at least 1 vein, an average of 2.25, and a maximum of 4. An unaligned 4×4 embark still has a minimum of 1, but an average of 4 and a maximum of 9; aligning it with the grid gives you exactly 4. Moving up to a 5x5 increases the minimum to 4 and the average to 6.25, but at the expense of lower framerates. If you're planning on making the HFS a major part of your fortress and don't cheat with reveal, an aligned 4×2 embark is the smallest you can generate that is guaranteed to have multiple veins (and therefore a high chance of multiple entrances, reducing the risk that one of the veins will not be traversable).


Raw adamantine is stored in stone stockpiles with "Raw Adamantine" enabled in that stockpile's 'other stone' category. Once extracted, adamantine strands will be stored in Cloth stockpiles which have the appropriate materials enabled.

Veins and Mining[edit]

A profile view of an adamantine vein travelling through an underground cavern, solid rock, and a magma sea. For more detail and resolution click the thumbnail.

It's worth noting that a tile of raw adamantine, when mined out, will always produce a stone. Raw adamantine veins, in contrast to usual ore veins, span z-levels nearly exactly straight upwards, and are thicker than many gem clusters. Adamantine veins can span from 5 to 30-40 z-levels, sometimes even significantly more. Despite being impossibly strong in its refined form, a simple copper pick works fine for mining it out, and the vein is full of raw adamantine ripe for the diggin'. Do not delve too greedily, however, "for there are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world..."

One serious downside to mining veins of raw adamantine is that they are hollow, and digging into the hollow section will lead to a certain spoiler, triggering dangerously large amounts of fun. On the bright side, the location of all adamantine veins will be revealed at this time.

Hollow sections are always 2×2 tiles in size, encased by a 4×4 unbroken block of adamantine. A hollow section on one z-layer shares at least one x or y tile with the hollow sections above and below it. Using these constants, it is easy to determine where the hollow sections are not and mine the "safe" areas only, allowing you to mine about 50% of the vein safely. However, one wrong designation can lead to extreme amounts of fun.

Adamantine pillars vary in height greatly. That is to say, some of them may barely extend past the magma sea at all, while others go all the way up to the third cavern layer, which could be several dozen Z-levels depending on the map. It's important to note that the upper layers of a pillar are always solid and safe to mine out fully, but anything beyond that is hollow. The length of this "safe area" is highly variable. Some veins may only contain one or two safe layers, while maps with extremely high third cavern layers may contain veins with one hundred safe Z-levels of adamantine. The only way to find out how much adamantine can be mined is to dig into it, if you dare. The height of the safe section of stone varies between veins, even at the same Z-level. Digging one vein might be safe, while digging the other leads to fun. Therefore, you should always cancel mining immediately if you strike adamantine directly and mine around it, removing the non-adamantine rock and turning the magma into obsidian. Once the vein is fully excavated, you can selectively pick off parts of the vein that are obviously not hollow (for example, fully revealed with revealed adjacent tiles that are not near 4x4 spaces of the vein). This eventually allows you to mine all or most of the adamantine on the z-level, and when cross-referenced with the constraints from the level above and below it, eventually all of the mineable vein.

Some adamantine is found in vertical pillars in the magma sea. This makes mining difficult, as one must either drain the area around the pillar to mine the pillar fully, or in cases of thicker pillars, mine out only the interior without breaching the exterior layer (and thus flooding the interior with magma). However, with access to vast amounts of water almost guaranteed on any map thanks to underground lakes, it might be possible to use selective flooding to cool the magma around the adamantine, creating walls of obsidian around them.

It is sometimes possible to find a few layers at the top within stone, allowing you to mine some without the need of water. It is recommended to mine around the edges first if you don't want to have a fun time, however there is the possibility that magma pockets can be located around the veins around the magma sea levels. A further recommendation is that you mine one layer of blocks at a time to avoid having your dwarves become overwhelmed with greed when they find a vein, mining into the center of it.