Investing in Manganese

Manganese is a transition metal, and an essential trace nutrient in all forms of life. The majority of manganese goes toward the production of steel.

Domestic Production and Use: Manganese ore containing 35% or more manganese has not been produced domestically since 1970. Manganese ore was consumed mainly by eight firms with plants principally in the East and Midwest. Most ore consumption was related to steel production, directly in pig iron manufacture and indirectly through upgrading ore to ferroalloys. Additional quantities of ore were used for such nonmetallurgical purposes as production of dry cell batteries, in plant fertilizers and animal feed, and as a brick colorant. Manganese ferroalloys were produced at two smelters. Construction, machinery, and transportation end uses accounted for about 28%, 9%, and 8%, respectively, of manganese demand. Most of the rest went to a variety of other iron and steel applications. The value of domestic consumption, estimated from foreign trade data, was about $1.1 billion.

Recycling: Manganese was recycled incidentally as a minor constituent of ferrous and nonferrous scrap; however, scrap recovery specifically for manganese was negligible. Manganese is recovered along with iron from steel slag.

Import Sources (2006–09): Manganese ore: Gabon, 54%; South Africa, 17%; Australia, 12%; Brazil, 6%; and other, 11%. Ferromanganese: South Africa, 52%; China, 21%; Republic of Korea, 7%; Mexico, 5%; and other, 15%. Manganese contained in all manganese imports: South Africa, 35%; Gabon, 19%; China, 11%; Australia, 8%; and other, 27%.

Events, Trends, and Issues: The global economic recovery, as measured by the expansion of global gross domestic product (estimated to increase by 2.7% from that of 2009 by the World Bank), coincided with the growth in the manganese market during 2010. U.S. steel production in 2010 was projected to be 38% more than that in 2009. Imports of manganese materials were significantly more in 2010 than in 2009--82%, 104%, and 139% more for manganese ore, ferromanganese, and silicomanganese, respectively. As a result, U.S. manganese apparent consumption increased by an estimated 66% to 720,000 metric tons in 2010. The annual average domestic manganese ore contract price followed the increase in the average international price for metallurgical-grade ore that was set between Japanese consumers and major suppliers in 2010. However, U.S. average weekly spot prices for high-carbon ferromanganese and silicomanganese through October 2010 were 16% lower than and about the same as, respectively, those at the start of the year, owing to higher inventory levels caused by domestic manganese material production increases and greater ferromanganese imports. Improved economic conditions led to planned expansions at five manganese mines and about 1,400,000 metric tons per year of additional manganese ferroalloy production capacity worldwide in 2010.

World Resources: Land-based manganese resources are large but irregularly distributed; those of the United States are very low grade and have potentially high extraction costs. South Africa accounts for about 75% of the world’s identified manganese resources, and Ukraine accounts for 10%.

Substitutes: Manganese has no satisfactory substitute in its major applications.

Manganese Producers
American Manganese (CVE: AMY)
Anglo American (NASDAQ: AAUK) - The South African mining conglomerate owns 40% of Samancor, the largest producer of manganese ore and alloys.
Assmang - Cato Ridge Works ferromanganese plant in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Bateman Mineral Recovery - ferromanganese-slag recovery plant in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) - Owns 60% of Samancor
CITIC Resources Holdings (HKG: 1205) - The CITIC Dameng unit plans to mine manganese from the M'Bembele mine in the Moyen-Ogooue province of Gabon
Ethan Minerals (ASX: ETH) - Kampumba manganese mine in Zambia
Eramet SA - manganese plant in Marietta, Ohio
Felman Production - silicomanganese producer
Grupo FerroAtlantica - Spanish manganese ferroalloy producer
Guizhou Redstar Developing Dalong Manganese Industry Co.
Hannans Reward (ASX: HNR) - Jigalong manganese project
Kermas - Their Mogale Alloys acquisition produced ferrochromium, silicomanganese, and stainless steel
Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL) - operates manganese mines in the Nagpur and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh
Minera Autlan - Mexican manganese producer
Montezuma Mining (ASXL MZM) - Yanneri Ridge, Budgie HIll, Ilgararie Ridge and Ilgararie Hill manganese prospects in the Butcherbird manganese/copper project
Segue Resources (ASX: SEG) - Emang Manganese Project in South Africa
Shaw River Resources (ASX: SRR) - Baramine Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia
Taurian Resources - Indian company producing manganese ore in Cote d'Ivoire with the state mining company Societe pour le Developpement Minier
Tinfos AS - Norwegian silicomanganese producer
United Manganese of Kalahari
Vale (NYSE: VALE) - leading manganese ore and ferroalloy producer in Brazil, produced 2.4 Mt of manganese ore in 2008.
Western Manganese (ASX: WMN)

Manganese price chart -

International Manganese Institute -

(wiki) - Manganese on Wikipedia

Manganese News
2011-07-08 - (pla) - Australia OM Holdings seeks local partner for Sarawak manganese smelter
2011-06-30 - (en) - Gama puts his weight behind Coega manganese export channel
2011-06-27 - (bl) - Transnet may seek partner for planned South African manganese terminal
2011-06-24 - (mw) - Tshipi Borwa manganese project in Northern Cape
2011-06-24 - (mw) - AfDB approves €150m loan for manganese project
2011-06-24 - (mw) - Avontuur manganese project, South Africa
2011-06-24 - (fnn) - Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) targeting manganese production
2011-06-23 - (pi) - Shaw River Resources changes name to Shaw River Manganese
2011-06-23 - (ri) - American Manganese recharging the battery market
2011-06-14 - (pi) - Azure Minerals to finalise San Francisco manganese project acquisition
2011-06-14 - (pi) - Shaw River Resources hits manganese in first four holes at Otjozondu in Namibia
2011-06-14 - (pi) - Soil Sub Technologies commences due diligence on Tasinifu Manganese Project
2011-06-14 - (rin) - Is Chinese manganese supply shrinking?
2011-06-13 - (pla) - China's Hongxin Group to double 2011 manganese output to 120,000 mt
2011-06-09 - (pi) - Archer Exploration upgrades manganese values by over 200% at Salt Creek deposit
2011-06-03 - (pi) - Spitfire Resources sees high grade manganese zone boosting South Woodie Woodie project economics
2011-06-01 - (mw) - Reunion Gold trenching program extends Matthews Ridge manganese mineralisation over 7 kilometres of strike
2011-05-31 - (pi) - Shaw River Resources commences drilling to boost manganese resources at Otjozondu in Namibia
2011-05-25 - (bl) - BHP plans manganese mine in Gabon, government adviser says
2011-05-22 - (et) - MOIL looks to buy manganese ore assets in S Africa, Middle-East
2010-11-09 - (sg) - Chinese manganese production in trouble till Lunar New Year
2010-11-09 - (te) - Nanoparticle study focuses on high-manganese steels
2010-11-09 - (tm) - Clenergen Corporation signs a memorandum of understanding with Ghana Manganese Company Ltd to install a 2 MW/h gasification biomass power plant
2010-11-01 - (sg) - Manganese ores prices for November shipment to China reduced
2010-10-29 - (pi) - Ethan minerals granted manganese mining leases, to lift production at Kampumba mine
2010-10-29 - (ck) - CITIC Resources to spin off manganese unit for HK listing
2010-10-28 - (sg) - Zinc Co announces manganese mineralization at Earaheedy Basin
2010-10-27 - (aa) - Namibia: Manganese mine plans appeal on strike ruling
2010-10-27 - (abn) - FerrAus Limited (ASX:FRS) announces East Pilbara high grade manganese results
2010-10-25 - (reu) - Gabon, CITIC to mine 26 mln T manganese resource
2010-10-25 - (pi) - Shaw River Resources moving closer to establishing major manganese resource at baramine
2010-10-22 - (dna) - MOIL scouting manganese ore mines overseas
2010-10-14 - (min) - Lack of investment hurts manganese producing countries
2010-02-01 - (smm) - Temporarily stagnant manganese prices

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