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Ores are mined so that the valuable minerals they contain can be extracted and used. By the 24th century, Janus VI was one of the major sources of ores in the Federation. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)
In 2266, Alfacite ore, a yellowish magentic ore from Alfa 177 was accidentally introduced into the transporter system of the USS Enterprise. The presence of the ore caused the transporters to divide life forms (including Captain James T. Kirk) into virtually identical, but intrinsically different beings. (TOS episode: "The Enemy Within"; TOS short story: "Ni Var")