Within the town are situated the smelting-works, the mint, and a Government weapon factory.
In unlimited supply, important deposits of rich iron ores suitable for smelting purposes; and for the manufacture of steel of certain descriptions abundance of manganese, chrome and tungsten ores are available.
The bulk of the sulphur mines are in Sicily, while the majority of the lead and zinc mines are in Sardinia; much of the lead smelting is done at Pertusola, near Genoa, the company formed for this purpose having acquired many of the Sardinian mines.
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.
While the furnace is running the crucible and channel remain filled with lead; all the lead reduced to the metallic state in smelting collects in the crucible, and rising in the channel, overflows into the basin, whence it is removed.