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Metallurgy is the study of metals. It can be subdivided into physical metallurgy, which addresses the physical properties of metals, and extractive metallurgy, which concerns itself with the processes by which they are produced.

The field is also divided into ferrous (iron-based) and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are the most important metals in the Earth's economy, with mild steel alone accounting for about 95% of total metal production.