WHY MANGANESE BOOOOMMMMM???

3 08 2010

U.S.Geological Survey (USGS): Manganese
Statistics and Information: Manganese (Mn) is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties. Steelmaking, including its ironmaking component, accounts for most domestic manganese demand, presently in the range of 85% to 90% of the total. Manganese ferroalloys, consisting of various grades of ferromanganese and silicomanganese, are used to provide most of this key ingredient to steelmaking. Products for construction, machinery, and transportation are leading end uses of manganese. Manganese also is a key component of certain widely used aluminum alloys and, in oxide form, dry cell batteries. As ore, additional quantities of manganese are used for such nonmetallurgical purposes as plant fertilizers, animal feed, and colorants for brick.

Manganese
(Data in thousand metric tons gross weight unless otherwise noted)
U.S. Domestic Production and Use: Manganese ore containing 35% or more manganese was not produced domestically in 2008. 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, although one operated sporadically throughout the year. Construction, machinery, and transportation end uses accounted for about 29%, 10%, and 10%, 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 $3 billion.

U.S. 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.

U.S. Import Sources (2004-07): Manganese ore: Gabon, 61%; South Africa, 18%; Australia, 8%; China, 3%; and other, 10%. Ferromanganese: South Africa, 53%; China, 18%; Republic of Korea, 6%; Mexico, 6%, and other, 17%. Manganese contained in all manganese imports: South Africa, 34%; Gabon, 21%; China, 9%; Australia, 7%; and other, 29%.

U.S. Tariff:

Item Number Normal trade relations 12/31/2008
Manganese dioxide 2820.10.0000 4.7% ad val.
High-carbon ferromanganese 7202.11.5000 1.5% ad val.
Silicomanganese 7202.30..0000 3.9% ad val.
Metal, unwrought 8111.00.4700/4900 14% ad val.

U.S. Depletion Allowance: 22% (Domestic), 14% (Foreign).

U.S. Government Stockpile: The uncommitted inventory of metallurgical ore was no longer differentiated between stockpile and nonstockpile grades.

Stockpile Status- 09/30/2007
Material Uncommitted Inventory Authorized For Disposal Disposal Plan FY 2008 Disposals FY 2008
Manganese ore:
Battery grade —- —- 18 16
Metallurgical grade 3 3 227 —-
Ferromanganese, high-carbon 477 477 91 77
Synthetic dioxide —- —- 3 1

Events, Trends, and Issues: Apparent consumption in 2008 was slightly lower than that of 2007 owing to moderate demand by the U.S. domestic steel industry, as reflected in lower manganese imports (content basis) and a reduction in producer and consumer stock releases. Through September 2008, U.S. domestic steel production was 4% higher than that of the same period in 2007. By the end of October 2008, the U.S. weekly average spot price for high-carbon ferromanganese was double that at the start of the year, and medium-carbon ferromanganese and silicomanganese weekly average spot prices were more than 30% higher over the same period. The annual average U.S. domestic manganese ore contract price followed the 314% to 413% increase in the international price for metallurgical-grade ore set between Japanese consumers and major suppliers in February 2008. The average weekly spot market price for 48% manganese ore, CNF China, had increased by 35% to $15.92 per metric ton unit through October 2008, owing to increased global demand for manganese ore, particularly in China and India. However, U.S. spot market prices for manganese ferroalloys and Chinese spot market prices for 48% manganese ore declined in October because of decreasing demand caused by global financial problems that began during the third quarter of 2008.

World Mine Production, Reserves, and Reserve Base (metal content): Reserve and reserve base estimates have been revised from those previously published for Gabon (reserves, upward; reserve base, downward), Mexico (reserve base, downward), and South Africa (reserves, downward), as reported by the major manganese producers in Gabon, Mexico, and South Africa. Reserves are based on estimates of demonstrated resources.

Mine Production Reserves Reserve Base
2007 2008 (e)
United States —- —- —-
Australia 2,540 2,200 68,000 160,000
Brazil 933 1,300 35,000 57,000
China 2,000(e) 2,800 40,000 100,000
Gabon 1,490 1,600 52,000 90,000(1)
India 900(e) 940 56,000 150,000(1)
Mexico 125 130 4,000 8,000
South Africa 2,600 3,000 95,000 4,000,000(1)
Ukraine 580(e) 480 140,000 520,000
Other Countries 1,420 1,400 Small Small
World total (rounded)(e) 12,600(e) 14,000 500,000 5,200,000

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 80% of the world’s identified manganese resources, and Ukraine accounts for 10%.

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

(e) Estimated. — Zero.
(1) Includes inferred resources.
U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2009


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