The latest Minecraft snapshot is here to reveal another round of changes coming in the Caves and Cliffs update. 21w14a makes a subtle, but important change: you’ll now get raw versions of iron, gold, and copper when you mine them. This will help prevent inventory clutter and make the bonus from the fortune enchantment more consistent from those ores.
Previously, iron, gold, and copper would all simply drop ore blocks when you mined them, but now you’ll get raw ore, just as with something like coal. You can smelt these raw ores just like the blocks, and you can still collect ore blocks by using silk touch, too.
This change is happening because of deepslate, the devs explain. Now that there’s a different variant of stone as you dig deeper, there are also matching variants of all the ores. If ore mining had remained the same, you’d be collecting two stacks of every ore type. This change means you’ll simply have a single stack of raw ore, to keep your inventory tidy.
This also means that fortune will now be much more consistent across all the ore types.