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Maybe there's nothing left to mine. Maybe it was closed because of safety issues. Maybe the company that owned it went bankrupt. Maybe something terrible happened there. Maybe the miners Dug Too Deep. Whatever the reason, this mine is now abandoned, and has probably been that way for some time. That does not, however, mean that it is empty. An abandoned mine is the perfect place for young characters to get lost or trapped, for heroes to find a valuable clue or some sort of treasure, or for villains, outlaws, and horror movie monsters to lurk.

It may or may not be specified what was mined there in the first place, or mine cart rides.

Watch out for falling rocks and other obstacles.

Note: In real life, mines are generally devoid of human activity any time when the miners are not working. However, this trope implies that the mine in question isn't just "not currently in use", but "people have stopped using this".

A Sub-Trope of Abandoned Area.

Examples of Abandoned Mine include:

Anime and Manga

  • Cowboy Bebop: In "Heavy Metal Queen", Spike, Faye, and a space trucker chase down a bounty into an abandoned mining complex on an asteroid.


  • One of these shows up (possibly two) in the forgettable Broken Arrow.
  • An inactive mine is a plot point in Dante's Peak. Wando's son uses it as a hideout/clubhouse, and when the volcano erupts, it's where Harry and the Wando family hole up until help arrives.
  • In the Brendan Fraser film Journey to the Center of the Earth, shortly after taking refuge in a cave on the side of an Icelandic volcano, they discover a lava tube that leads to an abandoned mine shaft.
  • In The Great Outdoors, John Candy's character ends up trapped for a period in an abandoned mine with some old, wet dynamite.


  • In The Lord of the Rings, Moria is both this and a Ghost City.
  • An abandoned mine is the setting of a ghost scare prank in one of The Great Brain books.
  • Dark Days Of Hamburger Halpin is about children exploring an abandoned coal mine.
  • The Mac Mordain Cadal in The Riftwar Cycle as well as the game based on it, Betrayal at Krondor. The dwarves are trying to get it un-abandoned, though.
  • Inheritance Cycle's Farthen Dur. Orik tells Eragonabout many tunnels underneath the city, "uninhabited since the day they were mined", which is where a part of the Battle of Farthen Dur takes place.

Live Action TV


  • Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" mentions the couple going into an old mine with a radio among the settings for the couple's trysts.
  • The Coasters' "Along Came Jones". Down in the old abandoned mine, Sweet Sue was a-havin' fits - the villain said "Gimme the deed to your ranch or I'll blow you all to bits!"

Tabletop RPG

  • The Encounter Critical adventure Asteroid 1618 has an abandoned mine as an playable area. Encounters include Hellbats, a Cave Ooze, a Slime Dragon, Hooded Horrors and Time Ghosts.

Video Games

  • Minecraft has the underground Stronghold and the Abandoned Mine, which frequently go off in labyrinthine directions with broken mine tracks, exposed ores, and resources, chests, webs, and a spider spawner.
  • There is some sort of incarnation of the Abandoned Mine in every Half-Life game to date.
    • In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, both the rebel outpost and the antlion nest are in an abandoned mine.
    • The short route from Ravenholm back to the surface in HL 2 also counts.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 has Knuckles' search for shards of the previously shattered Master Emerald bringing him to Aquatic Mine, an abandoned coal mine located within the vicinity of Pumpkin Hill that can be accessed via the sewers of Central City. This is aptly summed up by the opening lyrics of the stage's theme, "Dive into the Mellow": "Let's take a dive, in Aquatic Mine. Once was a coal pit, but now it's a water ride."
  • There is at least one in Neverwinter Nights.
  • Many, many side-missions in Mass Effect 1 will take place in these- from recovering missing Alliance intelligence to killing husks of a mining team that Dug Too Deep. Mass Effect 2 has just one mission in a abandoned mine that is also fighting the remnants of miners who Dug Too Deep.
  • Tales of Symphonia had the Toize Valley Mine in Tethe'alla.
  • The Portal games take place at Aperture Science, a laboratory built into an abandoned salt mine. Of course, since said mines are now booming research facilities (though those were abandoned too), it's hard to say if this trope applies.
  • Scurge: Hive: Area 5, the Mines. No longer actively used, these minds are now overrun with native monsters.
  • Nostalgia: The Eterna Mines.
  • Penumbra, a series of horror games, all take place in an abandoned mining facility.
  • Fallout 3's DLC Pack Point Lookout has the Herzog Mine. The mine was partially collapsed to end a strike. Many of the striking workers died. The owner, overcome with remorse, hung himself in the lowest chamber.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has its fair share of long-abandoned mines, now inhabited by monsters or raiders.
    • Fallout 2 has the Wanamingo Mine in Redding, which was abandoned after a pack of monsters moved in. The player can buy the mine and clear it out to resell it at a profit.
  • The third level in Thief the Dark Project was an abandoned (and haunted) mine, which had a passage to Cragscleft prison, your ultimate objective.
  • Alan Wake: Bright Falls Coal Mine.
  • Doom II has a level called "The Abandoned Mines". Granted, it doesn't look much like actual mines (then again, no level in the classic Doom games looks like anything) and it's supposed to be located in Hell, but it does have areas that look like giant underground excavated caverns.
  • Donkey Kong Country has the mine levels. Two levels involve using a mine cart to get from the beginning to the end.
  • Elsword has Richie Mine, a dungeon where the Nasods have started setting up base and excavating materials to build more of their kind.
  • The Perseus Mandate expansion pack from the original F.E.A.R. features one of these in interval 6.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword features the locale known as the Lanayru Mining Facility, which had been abandoned for several hundred years. The minerals that had been extracted there, Timeshift Stones, remain scattered throughout the mines and desert. When struck, these stones cause a temporal effect that sends a part of the area back in time to when it was not so abandoned.

Web Games

  • Bionicle: in the Mata Nui Online Game 2, the Great Mine was abandoned due to flooding by Gahlok in the previous arc. Hahli, a Ga-Matoran and experienced swimmer, has to dive through the mine to retrieve tools and materials for the Onu-Matoran miners.

Western Animation

  • In Transformers Animated, the Decepticons set up a hidden base in one. It also features prominently in the episode "Nature Calls".
  • The Scooby Doo Where Are You! episode "Mine Your Own Business". While trying to determine the identity of the scary Miner 49er, the gang explores a spooky old mine.
  • The Fievel's American Tails episode "The Lost Mother Lode" features one as a setting.

Real Life

  • Abandoned mines are all over the place in real life, often in remote or unexpected areas, but rarely completely abandoned because that's sorta frowned on by environmental agencies these days. Despite this, people in charge of remediating the damage done by the mining process will usually not be there on any particular given day. Needless to say, they are dangerous places. Not that this stops anyone from exploring them just to show how brave they are, of course..