I'm not a "builder". I don't make sconces. I don't use wood iron beams. I only make and upgrade a handful of weapons. I usually skip the iron armor tier altogether. I'd estimate that my ore needs are probably below those of the average player.
And yet mining is always my second highest skill after running. I think this strongly suggests that the ratio of "pickaxe swings" to "ore harvested" is out of whack.
I think it would make sense to moderately increase both mining "damage" and ore yields to the point where my pickaxe skill lands closer to my other harvesting and combat skills.
I don't mind finding the ore. I don't mind harvesting the ore. I don't mind sailing or carting it home. I just don't think it should be necessary to hit the node 6-8 times for 0-2 ore, and the game's skill progression system seems to agree with me.