What Manganese is?
Manganese is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels

Manganese mine

Manganese is a pinkish-gray, chemically active element which is a hard and brittle. It is hard to melt, but easily oxidized. Manganese is reactive when pure, and as a powder it will burn in oxygen, it reacts with water and dissolves in dilute acids.

Manganese is the fourth most used metal in terms of tonnage, being ranked behind iron, aluminum and copper. It is essential to iron and steel production, especially to pig iron manufacture and indirectly to upgrading ore to ferroalloys, by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing and alloying properties and its continuous importance is indicated by the fact that about 90% of all consumed manganese annually goes into steel as an alloying component.

No satisfactory substitute for manganese in steel has been identified which combines its relatively low price with outstanding technical benefits.

Types
Manganese in alloy form is an essential input in steel making and is one of the most important metals in an industrial economy

Silico Manganese

Used in construction steels.
Lower grade ores can be used to produce.

High and Medium Carbon Ferro Manganese

Used in flat products and better quality steels.
Requires higher grade ore.

High Grade Natural Manganese Dioxide

Used in dry cell batteries.
Requires grades higher than 75%.

Manganese Ore Market
Demand for manganese is primarily driven by the steel industry which consumes 94% of the Manganese ore produced

Manganese alloy

Mn ore (wet) production increased by 19% in 2008, to nearly 45 million mt. This amounted to over 14 million mt in Mn units, a year on year rise of 13%. The global unit consumption of manganese ferro-alloys (gross weight) is approximately 10 kg alloy per mt of steel produced. World demand for manganese depends directly on the needs of the steel industry. 

Over the course of the 20th century, production of crude steel has risen at an astounding rate, now fast approaching a production level of 1,300 million tons per year. During the 20th century, the consumption of steel increased at an average annual rate of 3.3%. Just in the last ten years the average annual rate was over 5.5%.  Today, it is difficult to imagine a world without steel. 

Low grade ore (less than 30% Mn)
Cannot carry transport cost thus used domestically
Largest producers China, India and Ukraine

Medium and high grade ore (between 37-48% Mn)
Dominates seaborne market
Largest producers South Africa, Gabon and Australia

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