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I have now thus far wandered the cold mountains of Skyrim for many hours, and I have seen many "ore" deposits that seem "mine-able". When I attempt to interact with these deposits I get a message that says something to the effect of "you need a pickaxe to mine that". I'll check the exact message text next time I'm playing. I've been to several towns, and I haven't seen a pickaxe for sale anywhere. Am I missing something? Where do I get what I need to mine ore?

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REAL miners won't settle for less than scaling the Throat of the World to get the Notched Pickaxe. – agent86 Apr 24 '12 at 13:57
Do suggestion comments get deleted? I could have sworn I left a comment regarding the title. – ヴァイシャリ Apr 24 '12 at 16:39
@desaiw Generally I don't think so - but then, it appears a comment of mine was deleted or never got posted as well. Odd... – EBongo Apr 25 '12 at 1:07
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Picks turn up commonly in and around mines - look for the crossed hammer icon on the maps (shown here):

How do I find an ore mine?

You'll also see them in some of the shops in the villages.

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In case you are fed up of searching for a pickaxe and really need one immediately (as sometimes happens with me when I'm searching for some particular item), you can just spawn one in your inventory using a cheat code. Although it's cheating I feel it is okay because after all it's just an ordinary pickaxe and you're saving yourself the grind of searching for it.

Here's what to do on the pc version:

  1. Press the ` key (tilde key) to bring up the console

  2. Type player.additem E3C16 1 and enter.

Here E3C16 is the code for a pickaxe. Happy mining!

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You don't need to buy one. Almost every mine will have a pickaxe lying around that you can use.

If not,check various barrels and sacks,also they are often found on enemies you kill in mines.

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