First thing I want to ask: Why do we have to put Suggestion: -name-? This IS the SUGGESTION subforum afterall... >_>
Anyways, getting right on with it.
I remember quite a long time ago there was a mod that was just "Material Detectors" or something to that effect. Long since lost in the sea of mods that were made and never updated. (Though I do recall it updating a few times still.) Anyways, short and simple: It stopped updating.
What these were, were tools that you held in your hand, and when you had them out, they'd chime/beep if you were near whatever it was you were looking for. They had "battery life" which drained when you had them out searching for ores, but wouldn't drain otherwise. It got faster beeping as you got closer to the item you were searching for, so it was a fun little game of hot-cold.
There were 8 different tools this mod had. A basic searcher, one for coal, iron, gold, and diamonds. Then there was the Advanced searcher for each of those which had double the range, double the life, and were a little bit more expensive.
Now, I'm not suggesting a direct copy of that mod, but something along the industrial lines would be pretty cool. Especially if you could give it an inventory of what to search for (one item only maybe?) and then have it run off battery power instead of magical redstone dust.
I'm thinking something along the lines of:
The integrated plating is just placeholder blank spots.
I'm thinking refined iron for the frame, a diamond for a "resonating crystal" that will search out whatever you're looking for, a battery (or energy crystal), and a circuit (or advanced circuit) to make it work right.
I'm unsure how costly you'd want this to be? Or maybe have two versions like the old one I knew with basic (battery and circuit) and advanced (energy crystal and advanced circuit) ones?
So, yeah, I know we have Miners and Mining Lasers and stuff like that that prettymuch makes something like this obsolete, but sometimes you just feel like digging. That's my case. I don't even build Miners. I go down and do all the dirty work myself. It's what I like about Minecraft, the Mine part of it, where I go down into the caves, strip EVERYTHING that isn't stone out of the walls (yes that includes dirt and gravel too), go up, deposit my ores, and then head right back down.
So, let me know what'cha think folks.