Tutorial:Automated Ore Processing

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This Tutorial is a synopsis on how to get started building an Automated Ore Processing Facility using machines and transport systems from popular Mods. Although some Mods are easier to automate than others, automation is most commonly done with Itemducts, BuildCraft pipes and sometimes RedPower 2 tubes. A typical automated system will easily handle the influx of materials sent from an Automated Miner. Using automated ore processing machines increases the ratio of Ore to Ingot and/ or speed up the process.

Whatever the Mod a Player chooses to use to build his Facility, the first step is to set up a diversion for unwanted items such as Dirt and Cobblestone using chests or other storage with an overflow to a Void Transport Pipe or Trash Can. This will avoid stuffing the Itemducts and reduce lag especially when using a transparent transport system.

To transport Items from the dig site to be processed, consider using a Tesseract, a railway system or even Steve's Factory Manager amongst many possibilities.

When setting up an Ore Processing Facility allow ample space for each machines to avoid cramped areas, especially when using BC Transport Pipes.

Optionally, a Player may want to automate crafting Ingots into Blocks using Auto Workbenchs to reduce the amount of storage needed. An easily expandable set-up for this is a double row of Workbench with Hoppers underneath and a row of Itemduct in between, the Itemduct will deliver the Ingots to the appropriate Workbench and the hoppers pass on to each other the resulting Blocks to an Itemduct.

Partial view of an Ore Processing Facility (Thermal Expansion)

Thermal Expansion[edit]

Thermal Expansion offers an easy to build processing system, the machines are the easiest to configure and automate. Using Itemduct to transport materials to Machines is ideal, preferably Opaque to reduce lag. A buffer inventory in the form of a chest and Hopper to feed the Machines will avoid stuffing the Itemduct or clogging up a BC Pipe system.

These Machines are optimized for automation as the sides are easily configured using a simple colour-coded system. Primary and Secondary Input and/or Output may be combined. Furthermore the Machines have built in output pumps that ejects to transport systems and may be placed directly next to each other as long as the sides are properly configured.

The list of Ore and other Items that may be processed by each machine is quite extensive (and will vary with Modpacks), so it's recommended to browse the in-game recipe list by 'Clicking' on the arrow in the Machine to view all the potential recipes, results and amounts.

These Machines are also used for several other purposes not covered here.


The Pulverizer turns one Ore into two dust (pulverized metal). It also has the potential of producing a secondary product. Power usage varies depending on the material pulverized, but usually uses 4,000 RF for Ores. The Dust may be used directly in some recipes or Smelted into Ingots using the Redstone Furnace.

The Pulverizer is particularly recommended for the following Ore [1]:

Ore Product Qty Bonus Product Ratio
Coal Coal Pulverized Coal Pulverized Coal Sulfur Sulfur 15%
Copper Ore Copper Ore Pulverized Copper Pulverized Copper 2 Pulverized Gold Pulverized Gold 10%
Diamond Ore Diamond Ore Diamond Diamond 2
Emerald Ore Emerald Ore Emerald Emerald 2
Glowstone Glowstone Glowstone Dust Glowstone Dust 4
Iron Ore Iron Ore Pulverized Iron Pulverized Iron 2 Pulverized Ferrous Metal Pulverized Ferrous Metal 10%
Lapis Lazuli Ore Lapis Lazuli Ore Lapis Lazuli Lapis Lazuli 8
Nether Pig Iron Ore Nether Pig Iron Ore Steel Dust Steel Dust 4
Nether Platinum Ore Nether Platinum Ore Pulverized Shiny Metal Pulverized Shiny Metal 4
Nether Quartz Ore Nether Quartz Ore Nether Quartz Nether Quartz 2 Sulfur Sulfur 10%
Nether Saltpeter Ore Nether Saltpeter Ore Niter Niter 10
Nether Sulfur Ore Nether Sulfur Ore Sulfur Sulfur 24
Redstone Ore Redstone Ore Redstone Redstone 6 Cinnabar Cinnabar 25%
Sulfur Ore Sulfur Ore Sulfur Sulfur 6

Induction Smelter[edit]

This Machine uses a catalyst to enhance the smelting process and also has the potential to produce Rich Slag, a secondary metal Ingot or Slag depending on the catalyst used. Power usage varies depending on the catalyst and the material smelted, but usually uses 3,200 RF for Ores with Sand. This Machine is very power efficient since it smelts the Ore directly into Ingots.

An advanced Ore processing facility will use at least 3 of these Machines, one for each main catalyst (there are several speciality catalysts not covered here).

The Induction Smelter is particularly recommended for the following Ores, listed by catalyst used:


Produces 2 Metal Ingots from an Ore and 2 Ores from a Nether Ore. It is the catalyst used to produce Rich Slag from most Ore (unless listed in other sections) at a 10% ratio.

It is recommended to use a second Pulverizer fed with Cobblestone to provided a constant supply of Sand to the Induction Smelter (Gravel must be sent off separately)

Rich Slag[edit]

Produces 3 Metal Ingots from an Ore and 3 Ore from a Nether Ore. Also produces Slag as secondary output at a 75% or 100% ratio. Ore recommended:


This catalyst has the ability to produce a secondary Ingot at a 100% ratio. It also produces 3 Metal Ingots from an Ore and 3 Ore from a Nether Ore.

Quantities of this catalyst are limited so it is recommended to focus it's use to producing hard to find materials such as:

Ore Product Qty Bonus Product Ratio
Ardite Ore Ardite Ore Ardite Ingot Ardite Ingot 3 Gold Ingot Gold Ingot 100%
Draconium Ore Draconium Ore Draconium Ingot Draconium Ingot 3 Draconium Ingot Draconium Ingot 100%
Ferrous Ore Ferrous Ore Ferrous Ingot Ferrous Ingot 3 Shiny Ingot Shiny Ingot 100%
Shiny Ore Shiny Ore Shiny Ingot Shiny Ingot 3 Rich Slag Rich Slag 75%

Redstone Furnace[edit]

The Redstone Furnace is an efficient automated Furnace used to smelt pulverized metal (dust) into Ingots and also used for other materials not accepted by the Induction Smelter.


The IC2 ore processing system is very simple to build and the automation difficulty is only moderate. The most common build consists of a Macerator and an Electric Furnace. The Macerator converts each Ore Block into two pieces of metal dust. The dust is then smelted. This converts ores to ingots at a 1:2 ratio using energy that can be generated from a number of sources.

in addition, GregTech 4 also provides new Ores and the Industrial Grinder. Because the industrial grinder produces multiple outputs and its optimal inputs can change depending on the Ore being processed, it is much harder to fully automate it. GregTech also provides its own automation system. The ratios of Ores to Ingots varies and several Ores produce dusts from additional bars. The grinder requires energy and water with some recipes requiring Mercury Cells and Sodium Persulfate Cells to yield better results.


Factorization is a complex and considerably slower process. The ratio of Ores to Ingots is approximately 1:3 with Clay produced as a secondary product [2], but the process may seem complicated, lengthy and tenuous to beginners. The processing uses several machines powered with 'Charge', Factorization's form of energy that can be produced with a Steam Turbine and Solar Boiler [3].

The basic ore processing method in Factorization is:

  1. Send Ore to a Grinder or to a Barrel connected to a Lacerator [4] to create Dirty Ore Gravel
  2. Send the Dirty Ore Gravel to a Mixer (along with Water) to obtain Clean Ore Chunks
  3. Send the Clean Ore Chunks to a Slag Furnace to produce Reduced Metal Chunks
  4. Send the Reduced Metal Chunks to a Crystallizer to get Crystallized Metals [5]
  5. Finaly Send the Crystallized Metals back to the Slag Furnace [6] to receive the Metal Ingots.


  1. Some of these Ores are extracted from Nether Ores or require Silk Touch (available on the Digital Miner). The Pulverizer is also recommended for the Dense version of the Ore listed here.
  2. Silver Ore will produce a secondary Lead product.
  3. The Steam Turbine and Solar Boiler has replaced the Solar Turbine.
  4. The Lacerator has replaced the Grinder.
  5. This step takes 20 minutes per cycle and is difficult to automate, so may be best done manually, but if automating the Crystalyser a Player could opt to build several units, one for each type of Ore needed quickly.
  6. For Players with Thaumcraft an Infernal Furnace may be used to increase yields in the form of extra Nuggets.


Automated Ore processing tutorial with:

  1. IndustrialCraft2 and BuildCraft
  2. Thermal Expansion