Basic Hunter Lessons: Mining
Talk to the Wyverian Artisan. He wants you to bring him some Iron Ore so he can upgrade your weapon. He gives you one Mega Pickaxe and sends you on your way. It would be a good idea to purchase some Iron Pickaxes from the vendor at the west end of the village, as that Mega Pickaxe will eventually break from use. When you're ready to set out, cross the bridge and return to Moga Woods to get started.
At the start, approach the brazier on the left side of the wooden gate and gather near it to obtain a Torch. Equip the Torch to light up dark areas and potentially scare off cave-dwelling monsters that would otherwise cause you nothing but aggravation.
There are ore deposits in Area 4, so make your way there. Equip your Torch to light the way once in Area 4 and hop down from the ledge. There are some Felyne (the white catlike creatures) and Melynx (the black catlike creatures) at the start of the area. The Felyne are peaceful, unless one of their own takes damage. Avoid the Melynx, as they will steal an item from your inventory if they hit you. If a Melynx does manage to steal one of your items, simply hit him to get it back. There are also the small, slug-like Giggi here in Area 4. These things are annoying, however with a Torch equipped you won't be bothered. If a Giggi does manage to latch on to your character, simply roll with the B button to shake it off.
Look for the mining spot in Area 4.
The mining spot you are looking for in Area 4 is a large crack in the wall at about the middle of the area. Approach the crack in the cave wall and a Pickaxe icon will appear above your character's head. You don't have to put away your Torch to mine; to mine ore with your Torch equipped, simply hold the R button and press the A button while at a mining spot. You just need one piece of Iron Ore, but continue mining until the deposit is spent or all of your pickaxes break before returning to Moga Village.
Speak to Junior back at the village. Then, speak to the Wyverian Artisan to bring up the Smithy menu and enter the Villager Requests section. Press the A button twice to deliver the one piece of Iron Ore.
You can use the Iron Ore you collected to upgrade your weapon. Select “Weaponcraft” from the Smithy menu and then “Upgrade Weapons.” Select the Hunter's Knife and press the A button to see its upgrades. You can upgrade the Hunter's Knife to the Hunter's Knife for 1560z and two pieces of Iron Ore. You probably don't have enough zenni to afford the upgrade at this point, so store those Iron Ore in your Item Box (and any other non-essential items) so they don't take up precious space in your inventory.