The chief lead ores are galena and cerussite; of minor importance are anglesite, pyromorphite and mimetesite (qq.v.).
Lead ores are smelted in the reverberatory furnace, the ore-hearth, and the blast-furnace.
In the blast-furnace all lead ores are successfully smelted.
In smelting at once in the same blast-furnace ores of different character, the old use of separate processes of precipitation, roasting and reduction, and general reduction prevailing in the Harz Mountains, Freiberg and other places, to suit local conditions, has been abandoned.
Ores are smelted raw if the fall of matte (metallic sulphide) does not exceed 5%; otherwise they are subjected to a preliminary oxidizing roast to expel the sulphur, unless they run too high in silver, say 100 oz.