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Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.

Copper is the most basic metal capable of making weapons, though it is inefficient for this purpose. Copper ore (malachite) is better destined for coin minting (as one of the Bookkeeper's mandates) or combined with sphalerite or cassiterite to make brass and bronze. Bronze is more fuel-efficient to produce than pure copper and produces better weapons, while brass is significantly more valuable for the purpose of making furniture (and producing it gets rid of all that accursed sphalerite filling up your ore stockpiles, doubling your metal output in the meantime).