Ore is found in mines in Daigard (Aso), Ore Valley (Bromo) and in Massua (Calbuco). It is used to make many things, but before make any of those, you must first make a factory. And to make anything including a factory, you must be a manufacturer, which requires 50 melds.
Ore is mined from any mine in Daigard (Aso) or Ore Valley (Bromo). While any mine in other cities can optionally mine Gold, mines in Daigard and Ore Valley can optionally mine ore, but not Gold. Unfortunately, mining ore is not as simple as gold. Ore always comes one crate at a time, not in random handfuls like gold. Much of that ore is immediately stolen by Ore Thieves (approximately 19 of 20). This means that, on average, with a mine in Daigard or Ore Valley with all Hardy equipment one would expect to find about 1 ore crate a day. This is still highly profitable given the state of the ore market.
Components are more simply known as labor. Components can be created by hiring workers. Each worker produces the tens digit of their meld count components per hour. For example: a worker with 29 melds produces 2 components per hour, while a worker with 30 melds produces 3. Being a worker requires at least 10 melds. Components are completely useless unless you currently have the ore you need to make something, and cannot be collected for use with ore obtained in the future.
A factory can be made with 20 ore and 9000 components. Factories are needed to make any other thing with ore. You can rent factories from other people. You can only make 5 factories, but you can rent as many as you want. You can only have 7 workers at each factory. At factories, you can make Ore Melds, Miner Robots (MR's), Aircraft, and fix broken items found with these robots for 1 Ore and 1,000 Components.
Special Mining Robots
It takes 5 ore and 5000 components to make a special Mining Robot. For every ten melds you have, your robots will do better and better. This goes the same that the components per hour does. A 30-39 meld bot will be an MR3, a 40-49 melds bot an MR4, and so on. These robots will mine up anything they find, even broken items. They will automatically trash any green or yellow broken items they find. The higher class your robot is, the more damaged items they will find. Damaged items are added on to your usual findings.
The damaged items that you find with the special mining robots need fixed. This can only be done at a factory. To do this, you need 1 ore and 1000 components. You can be any profession to fix these items, you just need to have a factory by either owning one or renting one.
Ore can be made into melds with 2 ore and 1,200 components, 6 ore and 5,000 components, 20 ore and 20,000 components, 65 ore and 80,000 components, and 200 ore and 300,000 components.