Minecraft will bring big changes related to mining with its 1.17 update. When the final we will tell you everything related to the new features in detail.
So far, in previous snapshots, we have already seen how the change in the height of the maps (remember, now the lower limit is in the Y -64 layer, and not in the 0 as before) will lead to an important change in the distribution of minerals.
Minecraft 1.17 update will bring mining-related changes
Since then, there have been several readjustments and, for example, the presence of diamonds has been substantially reduced. Be that as it may, until we can see Minecraft 1.17 or, at least, the final beta versions, we will not be clear.
And today, in snapshot 21w14a we were able to see a surprise, which will surely change the equipment with which we normally go down to the mines. Until now, when we chopped the blocks of gold, iron, and copper, we obtained the block that we had chopped (ie, the block of rock with the ore fragments in it), from this beta what will go to our inventory is the raw ore, ie, the corresponding fragments of gold, iron, and copper. This feature will come to the final version of Minecraft 1.17.
If you have explored the underground in previous snapshots, you will notice that gold, iron, and copper can be found both in normal rock and in the new deep shale, the material that replaces the rock in the lower levels of the map. For Mojang, this creates a problem with the inventory, since the gold ores occupy different slots in the inventory (quite an accurate reasoning, actually). To avoid this problem we will get the ore directly.
Does this mean that you can forget about the furnace to melt the materials? No, in fact, this operation will still be necessary to convert the extracted metals into ingots. Until ores do not pass through the furnace, they will be totally useless.