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The items you will need for smelting are different depending on the type of ore you are working with.
Types of ore are:
You can also find silver ore and gold ore, but cannot smelt them.
The raw ores or smelted ingots are sellable in the assayer's office (inside the building near the path).


To smelt tin lead and copper:
First you need to be in a place with a smelting furnace.  There's several just west of the building in the mining area.  You will need some tin ore(minable), some coal (minable) or charcoal (you can by there) and a mold of some sort (you can buy them there or find them in treasure).
Be prepared to have to do each of the steps below several times if needed.
PUT your ORE IN the FURNACE.   (You might need to CLEAN the FURNACE before you can do this step.)
Next you need to get some coal (you can mine this) or charcoal (you can buy charcoal right there for 9 dinars) and PUT your COAL ON the ORE IN the FURNACE.   This you will probably need to repeat several times until you have enough coal.
Once you have enough coal, you should LIGHT your ORE.
Now you need to get it hot enough to melt so STOKE your ORE until you get it at just the right temperature.
Now that it's the right temperature you can PUT more ORE ON the ORE IN the FURNACE  (you'll need to add more coal for this and stoke it again) or CLEAN your ORE if you don't have more to add.
With clean ore you'll need to SNUFF the ORE it to let it cool.
Next you'll want to have a mold in your right hand (If you don't have one you can buy a bundle of them for 14 dinars right there at the furnaces) and TAP the ORE to complete your ingot.

To smelt zinc:
You will need zinc ore (you can mine this), rock salt (minable), coal (minable) or charcoal (you can buy this), some retorts (sold near the distinlation furnace for 23 dinars or findable in treasure - thanks again Quinlax), a reed stick (foragable in the duck marsh near Thebes - thanks for the info Quinlax), and a room with a distillation furnace (north of the building at the entrance to the mining area).
You'll need to prepare your ore by JOINING your ORE WITH some CHARCOAL/COAL to get some powder.  You may need to mix in more coal or charcoal.
Now you need to mix in some rock salt by JOINing your POWDER WITH some SALT.
Next you need to make pellets, so ROLL your POWDER.
Once you have your reed stick, PUT your REED STICK IN your RETORTS. 
CLOSE your RETORTS to keep any air out.
Now you need to put the RETORTS IN the FURNACE and then LIGHT the RETORTS once you have them loaded in the furnace.
Next you'll need to STOKE the RETORTS (you might have to add IN FURNACE).
When that's done, just GET your RETORTS FROM the FURNACE, and you're done!