Originally Posted by Pants
Oh ok, that's what I thought they were for but saw no way to smelt the ore in Riverrun. That makes sense, thanks. Also, I wish the dude in Riverrun had more than 5 freaking steel ignots for sale. What a bum.
After a few days ore in mines (you can take a pick ax and mine your own) and piles of ore you either take or steal reset.
I found a gold mine and looted the shit out of it - came away with like 70 pieces of gold ore. Combine gold or silver with gems to make jewelry at the blacksmith shop - great money maker and also raises your smithing skill.
Smelting and tanning do not raise skills, however.