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I'm building a long tunnel straight down. I've hit water plenty of times, which has proven easy to redirect by simply tunneling to the sides when under the water.

But alas, I had to hit a pond of lava at some point. I had planned to make a tunnel under the lava, then place some TNT and RUN for it.

Any better suggestions?


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See here:… Lava behaves exactly the same as water. (albeit moves more slowly) – Raven Dreamer Jun 13 '11 at 20:18
up vote 13 down vote accepted

With 1.1 the previous answers are no longer correct. Since you are digging down through the lava, redirect some water into your mineshaft. As you dig into the lava, the water will hit it and form obsidian walls to hold the lava back. You will need a nightmare pickaxe or better to dig out the obsidian that's in your way.

Another alternative is to use an obsidian skin potion (and maybe a gills potion) to safely swim to the bottom of the lava and dig a drain for it.

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This is the case because since 1.1 blocks no longer replace liquids, they contain them. – oKtosiTe Dec 11 '11 at 9:17

You can place blocks two spaces away from you. Take advantage of this to fill the lava over with stone or something similar as you go; when you mine the filler blocks, they will turn to air, and you can force a wall between your tunnel and the lava.

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It's good to keep this lava around once you mine past it. Later it will provide lots of obsidian. – user9983 Jun 13 '11 at 20:30
I find it worth mentioning that before I read these answers, I mined all the way around the leftmost lava lake and TNTed it down to an even larger lava pond. – Hubro Jun 13 '11 at 20:38

You can replace the lava, if you have stone or dirt just replace the blocks then dig them out again.

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I don't think this works anymore... – John the Green Jan 8 '12 at 2:21
correct this was posted before 1.1 – Viper_Sb Jan 8 '12 at 8:00

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