There is an incredible amount of resources to sort through in Dwarf Fortress, from plants to wood to all types of cave rock and minerals. The latter can be particularly important: the resources you find by digging beneath the surface are used to craft many of the game’s most important structures, gadgets, and gear. Mining ore and knowing how to use it can mean the difference between a thriving fortress and a failure.
Related: How world settings work in Dwarf Fortress
How to mine ore in Dwarf Fortress
Luckily, the mining part of the equation is mostly passive on your part. Use the mining job tool (the pickaxe icon in the middle row) to designate parts of the earth you want to dig through. You should basically have this running at all times. When digging, your dwarves will naturally encounter resources such as ore, rocks, and gems. As long as you have room in your stash for these things, your dwarves will have a place to store any resources they dig up. This is the most basic resource loop in the game.
How to refine and craft ore in Dwarf Fortress
Using ore to craft useful things requires more detailed guidance. Step one, you need a smelter. There are two types in the game, both of which can be found under “Workshops” in the build menu (1). A regular smelter (2) needs fuel, so make sure you build a wood stove and feed it wood to get you started. Magma melters, as the name suggests, work with the power of magma, but you must first reach lower levels that actually flow with it. In both cases you can click on the smelter and create tasks to smelt the collected ore into refined bars. With a mix of raw ore and proper ingots, you have the key ingredients for many important things like armor and weapons.
https://www.gamepur.com/guides/how-to-get-and-use-ore-in-dwarf-fortress How to get and use ore in Dwarf Fortress