Is manganese becoming critically important for industry growth?
Team Veye | 16 Aug 2021
Everybody knows that steel is made of iron but very few know that manganese is also an important constituent of steel. Although a small percentage, it is just as essential as iron. Simply put you can’t make steel without manganese.
Manganese removes oxygen and sulfur when iron ore (an iron and oxygen compound) is converted into iron. As an essential alloy, it helps convert iron into steel. It decreases the brittleness of steel and improves its strength. Manganese is used also as an alloy with aluminum and copper for the same reason.
Major infrastructure, such as hospitals, office towers and bridges, use steel that contains manganese. It’s some other important uses include battery cathodes, soft ferrites used in electronics, micronutrients in fertilizers and water treatment chemicals.
Manganese is the 12th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, with the element seeing huge global demand due to its many and varied applications in the production of steel and high-capacity batteries.
Australia is the world’s second-largest manganese producer, with an annual production of about 3 million tonnes. The country, which is believed to have the fourth-largest manganese reserves, produces 15% of the globe’s manganese ore and has 11% of the world’s economic demonstrated resources of the ore.
The Manganese and Other Mineral Mining industry is forecast to continue growing at a strong pace over the next five years, due to stable output growth and continuing demand from Chinese steel producers, and as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
World manganese prices are projected to increase steadily over the next five years, with other metal prices likely to increase at a slower rate.
The Northern Territory is a world leader in manganese production, with the world’s largest and lowest cost manganese mine on Groote Eylandt, and another operating mine at Bootu Creek make. Manganese is currently the largest contributor to the Territory’s mineral production value.
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