Taking Inventory: Netherite Scrap

An ingot in progress

As you’re exploring the depths of the Nether, you’ll occasionally come across ancient debris, embedded deep within the rock. The remnant of some long-forgotten civilization, ancient debris is tough – it’s highly blast resistant, and will even float on lava. You’ll need a diamond pickaxe to successfully mine it.

If you find some, you’ll be able to smelt it down into a new material – netherite scrap, our item of the week, which is also found occasionally in treasure chests in bastion remnants. This substance, which was added in the Nether Update, is how you get netherite ingots and access to the top tier of Minecraft’s weaponry.

So, how does it all work? Well. Ancient debris isn’t easy to find – it never generates exposed to the air, so you’ll have to go digging. There’s a chance for up to two veins to generate in each chunk – one between y-levels 8 and 22, and another between y-levels 8 and 119. On average, level 15 gives you the highest chance to find some, but no guarantees.

After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, let’s assume that you found some and you’ve successfully melted it down into netherite scrap in a furnace or blast furnace. What next? Well, you’ll need to combine four scrap with four gold ingots in a crafting grid to acquire a single netherite ingot. 

Yeah, we know that’s a lot of work for a single ingot. No-one ever said Minecraft was easy, and this is the top tier of equipment, after all. If you can’t be bothered, then your diamond equipment will do just fine, but if you want the best then you’ll have to put the work in.

In the real world, you might not think about what happens to your trash and recycling after it leaves your house, but recycled scrap metal is – despite the name – a valuable commodity. It’s usually shredded and then any non-metallic bits are removed before metals are sorted out and then melted down to make new raw materials. Using recycled scrap metal saves 75% of the energy, 90% of raw materials, and 40% of the water use that raw iron ore would take.

In some places, though, people don’t separate out metallic objects before they’re tossed in the trash. Enter landfill mining – an increasingly lucrative industry. In fact, the concentration of aluminium metal in many landfills is actually higher than in the raw bauxite ore found in nature.

The problem is that landfills are often pretty toxic environments, and this is where mushrooms come in. What? No really – fungi-based technology is quite often used to decontaminate polluted environments. So next time you’re wandering through a particularly contaminated part of the Nether and wondering why there are lots of mushrooms and scrap metal but no plants, you’ve got your answer.

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere
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