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Manganese Ore

Introduction To Manganese Ore

Manganese ore is a silver-gray metal with a pinkish tinge. It is a hard metallic element although it is quite brittle. Manganese ores are found in metamorphic rocks or sedimentary deposits. Pyrolusite is the main ore mineral for manganese. Manganese combines easily with air and water and is therefore a reactive element frequently found in nodules on the sea floor. It is one of the 12 most abundant elements making up the Earth’s crust.

What Is Manganese Ore Used For?

Manganese ore is alloyed with steel to improve hardness which is essential in the manufacturing of construction materials. It has a similar application when alloyed with aluminium and helps to reduce corrosion and is used in the manufacturing of beverage cans.

Manganese metal is used as a colourant in bricks and ceramics and is a catalyst and oxidizer. Manganese dioxide is used in dry cell batteries, in black paints to quicken drying time, to decolour glass and in the manufacture of ferroalloys.

Manganese sulphate is used as a micronutrient in fertilizers and animal feeds. It is an important trace nutrient in animals and humans as it cofactors with enzymes and is a detoxification agent. It aids the body in absorbing Vitamin B1 and makes bones strong and flexible.

In the form of Potassium Permanganate it is used as a bactericide and algicide in water and wastewater treatment.

Where Is Manganese Ore Produced?

South Africa and the Ukraine hold over 80% of the world’s manganese ore reserves. Other important manganese deposits are in China, Australia, Brazil, Gabon, India, and Mexico. The U.S., Japan, and Western Europe are all nearly deficient in economically mineable manganese. (Source: http://www.mii.org/Minerals/photoman.html)

Conclusion

In major applications like metallurgical alloy manganese is used, it also has no satisfactory substitute. It plays an important role in the manufacturing of steel as well as having biological uses. Should the reserves in the Earth’s crust start to diminish significantly there will be an option for deep-sea mining.

If you would like to learn more about minerals and mining visit our Mining and Metals page.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



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