What is the origin of lodestone?

Lodestone, “a variety of magnetite that possesses magnetic polarity” in its non-figurative sense, is a compound of lode and stone. While lode most often refers to a metal-bearing deposit or, in dialectal English, a waterway, its original meaning in Old English, as lád, was “way, course,” and from there, its definition expanded to indicate something to follow, such as a channel or a vein of ore. Lode is a variant spelling of load, which went in a different semantic direction, shifting from a travel route to the heavy objects to be carried along such a route, likely with influence from the unrelated yet similar-sounding verb lade “to put a load or burden on.”