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Q: Manganese, Ferromaganese Markets? Values? ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Manganese, Ferromaganese Markets? Values?
Category: Science > Earth Sciences
Asked by: brudenell-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 03 Jul 2005 04:21 PDT
Expires: 02 Aug 2005 04:21 PDT
Question ID: 539535
I would like to know about the demand for manganese and ferromanganese
in the world today especially as it pertains to China.

Are there any mines of significance in North America? What are the
quality of the ores and current market value for manganese and
ferromanganese from North America?

Thank you.

Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 12 Jul 2005 18:24 PDT
What is it?

It's not shiny enough to be silver.

It's not black enough to be coal.

But it may soon become one of the most sought after elements in the world.

This is manganese.

For those of you who don't know, manganese is a key ingredient for
strengthening steel.

About 95% of the world's annual production of manganese is used by the
iron and steel industry to purify iron and to make alloys.

Manganese is added to iron because it reduces iron oxide to form
manganese oxide, which dissolves well in molten slag and is easily
separated from the iron.

In alloys, manganese increases the durability and corrosion resistance
of iron and steel and makes steel more malleable when forged.

The recent strong demand for manganese has forced the price of the
metal over 63% higher than it was last year.

And, with China's apparently voracious hunger for steel expected to
continue, it can be assumed that the manganese price will go even

Experts anticipate that this year the world will consume 21.6 billion
pounds of manganese, compared to 20 billion pounds last year. That's
an 8 percent increase in one year

Last year manganese consumption was up 15% from 2003.

But unlike oil the manganese industry has room to increase its
production. Last year world production increased by 30%. Another 5%
increase is estimated for this year.

But I have to wonder how much further mining companies can increase
production levels. Certainly this commodity is finite like any other.

Analysts have predicted that the steel demand will grow by 2.2
trillion pounds this year, meaning that the demand for manganese will
remain strong.

It is expected that in less than five years the steel industry will
need an additional 28 billion pounds of manganese.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 23 Jul 2005 05:33 PDT

I'm working on an answer to your question.

But your clarification makes clear that already have a considerable
amount of information available on manganese, and I want to make sure
I don't give you an answer that tells you what you already know.

Can you let me know what your sources of information have been thus
far, so I don't go over familiar territory for you?

Also, how much of a focus do you want on North America?  The US and
Canada have not been significant producers of manganese, although
Mexico does produce about 1% of the global supply.

Let me know what you can, and in the mean time, I'll begin sorting
through the information I have so I can craft an answer for you.



Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 23 Jul 2005 11:15 PDT
Here's what I've got thus far...let me know if this is on track, and
if it is, what other sort of information you need for a complete



It's interesting to begin the discussion of manganese with a look at
the pricing patterns for manganese ore in the 1980's:
USGS -- Manganese

Annual Average 48%-50% Manganese Ore Price
(Dollars per metric ton)

1980 1.67

1981 1.69

1982 1.56

1983 1.36

1984 1.40

1985 1.41

1986 1.32

1987 1.27

1988 1.75

1989 2.76

1990 3.78

You can see that prices declined steadily at the beginning of the
decade, then suddenly reversed and shot up to reach a peak in 1990.

The pricing pattern are a good reflection of the factors that have
influenced manganese supply and demand in the past, and that will
likely continue to influence it in the future.

In the early part of the 1980's, manganese ore prices were depressed
by two factors:  one economic, and one technological.  One the
economic side, the world had entered a global-scale recession early in
the decade, which reduced demand and had the effect of reducing

In addition, there was a technological factor at play that also
contributed to the trend.  Steel-making technology had changed in a
way that reduced their reliance on manganese as an alloying material. 
The same USGS report that supplied the above price data put it this

"...After an ore price of nearly $1.70 was attained in 1980-81, the
direction of the trend again reversed in 1982 with onset of a
worldwide recession. In the early 1980?s, the more-efficient use of
manganese in steelmaking depressed demand for manganese. For example,
by changing the way in which pig iron was converted into steel,
domestic steelmakers reduced their unit consumption of manganese in
steelmaking by about one-fifth within about 2 years. This reduction
was much larger than the steel-related growth in manganese demand that
otherwise would have been expected, ordinarily about 1% per year. The
U.S. ore price in the early 1980?s was also depressed by the relative
strength of the dollar in relation to other currencies..."

"...Prices generally have receded since the 1990 peak. One of the main
reasons was dissolution of the former U.S.S.R. in 1991 and the
subsequent contraction of industrial production in its successor

The International Manganese Institute made note of the same technological changes:
"In the 1960?s and 70?s, when the oxygen-blown process progressively
replaced the open hearth, Bessemer and Thomas processes, the
subsequent improved manganese yield caused a decline in unit
consumption. In the 1980?s further improvements in steelmaking
(brought about by the development of combined blowing processes) meant
even better manganese yields. Today, the average unit consumption for
industrialized countries is a little over 5.5 kg of manganese per ton
of steel, compared to some 6.5 kg in 1980 and over 7 kg in the

Others have noted that the increased use of scrap steel as a recycled
raw material has also influenced the demand for manganese, and in
particular, has shifted demand in the direction of silico-manganese
raw material.

The point here is that demand can be driven in up, down or even
sideways -- increasing, when the economy picks up steam and the demand
for steel rises, but also decreasing (even in the face of economic
growth), when changes in steel-making technology lessen the need for
maganese as an alloying material, or when a robust market collapses,
as was the rare case with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.


The USGS is also a great source of information on global sources of
manganese and on global trade.  In addition to the above publication,
you can see some of the key USGS materials on manganese here:
Manganese -- Statistics and Information

They helpfully provide contact information for their manganese specialists:

USGS Commodity Specialist
Lisa A. Corathers
Phone: 703-648-4973
Fax: 703-648-7757

USGS Resource Specialist 
William F. Cannon 
U.S. Geological Survey 
954 National Center 
Reston, VA 20192 
telephone (703) 648-6345 

In addition to the USGS materials, two other sources of information
that are very useful are:
International Manganese Institute
IMnI Q1 2004 World Overview 
[NOTE that IMnI also produces members-only market studies which are
undoubtedly a rich reference source, as they contain
country-by-country breakouts, but which were not available to me as a
Institute of Occupational Medicine
Occupational exposure limits:
Criteria document for manganese and inorganic manganese compounds

The write-up below comes primarily from these above sources.



Demand for manganese and ferromanganese (and a third large-scale
commodity, silicomanganese) increased dramatically in 2004, driven
largely by demand for soaring steel production in China, both for
domestic consumption, as well as meet demands created by China's
growing exports.

All told, 10.3 million metric tons of manganese alloys were produced
in 2004, a 14% increase from production levels in 2003.  Similarly,
manganese ore production exceeded 29 million metric tons, a 19%
increase from the year before.  Demand was so great, that shortages
began to develop in 2004:

"...As a response to this insatiable demand from China, world
manganese ferroalloy producer stocks began to drop in late 2003, and
by early 2004 shortages occurred first with silico-manganese (SiMn),
followed closely by high carbon ferro-manganese (HC FeMn). In
addition, a combination of several supply factors came together to
drive prices further to new heights in the first half of the year..."

Iron and steel production account for about 90% of global demand for
manganese.  A good overview can be found here:
Production and Use

 "...The current average consumption of manganese units is 5.5 kg per
ton of steel in industrialised countries compared with 7 kg per ton in
the 1960s. Manganese is required in steel because it enhances the
strength and hardness, assists in the removal of sulphur contamination
and acts as a deoxidising agent...High strength steels contain over 1%
manganese and represent 3?4% of total steel production. Low carbon,
high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels contain between 0.6 and 2.0%
manganese and are widely used for oil/gas pipelines, shipbuilding and
in transportation equipment to reduce weight. Other engineering steels
also contain manganese as well as a range of other transition metals.
High manganese (10?12% manganese) non-magnetic steels are used for
products such as retainer rings for turbo alternators, collars on
oilrigs and as cryogenic steels. Stainless steels usually contain
about 1% manganese together with nickel and chromium, but manganese
stainless steels can contain about 4% manganese with little or no

Other commercial uses of the metal include:

--aluminum alloys

--as a component of dry cell batteries


--animal feed supplements

--a variety of specialty chemical applications, such as catalysts,
pigements, additives for bricks, and so on.

But clearly, the global supply and demand patterns for manganese are
being driven by trends in iron and steel production.


Manganese is the twelfth most common element on earth, and as such, is
abundantly available.  However, there are only relatively few sources
of high-grade manganese-containing ore that are considered
commercially viable at current world prices.

There is no expectation of long-term global shortages of manganese. 
Reserve quantities are large, and marginal sources could be brought
into production if warranted by economic conditions.  There are also
huge reserves of manganese-containing nodules on the ocean floor, that
are not, at present, a commercially viable source of the metal, but
could conceivably become so in the future.

However, short term shortages do develop as spurts in demand -- as is
currently the case in China -- can strain existing supplies.

In the foreseeable future, however, supplies appear to be adequate. 
Manganese ore production is currently around 29 million metric tons
per year -- about 10 million metric tons of manganese metal --  drawn
from proven global reserves of 660 million metric tons of metal -- a
supply that would be adequate for decades.  In addition, global
land-based supplemental reserves -- the amount of ore considered
workable that could be brought into production (though possibly, at
higher production costs) -- are estimated at about 5 billion metric
tons of manganese metal.  In addition, there are the ocean-bottom
manganese nodules that are a potential supply as well, although at
present time, there are no commercially viable technologies for mining
this resource.

The bulk of the world's known land-based reserves are in South Africa
and the former Soviet Union (largely the Ukraine), which together
account for 80% of total global reserves.  Not suprisingly, these two
areas are major producers as well, each acounting for about 16% of
global production of manganese ore.  China is a very large producer as
well, accounting (in this report) for about 20% of total production.

Other large producers are Brazil (11%), Australia (10.5%), Gabon (8%),
India (7.5%), and Mexico (1%).  Another 8.6% is produced by a variety
of other countries.


A table of primary production areas by tonnage and percent can be seen here:
Table 4.1 Primary production of manganese by area

an even more up-to-date table is here, providing tonnage only:
World Mine Production, Reserves, and Reserve Base
[NOTE:  This table includes production from China, but does not
indicate China as a major producer.  In general, Chinese grade ore
appears to be considered low grade, and difficult to work with.  The
reason for the discrepancy between the two documents in terms of
overall production from China is not clear].


The US is not without domestic sources of manganese ore, and in fact,
has had substantial production in the past, particularly during
wartime (WWI, WWII and the Korean War) to avoid possible disruption in
supplies of this strategic material.

For a number of reasons, however, the US is no longer a player in
global production of manganese, and neither is Canada.  Mexico is a
producer, however, as noted above.

A terrific history of US production of manganese is provided in this
(somewhat dated) report from the US Bureau of Mines:
Manganese Material Flow Patterns

There is a wealth of detail in this report, and if you're really
interested in knowing about possible production sources in the US,
this is the place to start.

The key point of the report is that the US is not a producer of
manganese ore because of the lack of sufficiently large-scale,
high-grade sources of supply.  It simply makes more economic sense to
source manganese from overseas.  However, the potential for domestic
production has always existed in the past, and remains for the future
as well.

The major sources of ore in the US in the past was Montana for
manganese ore and Minnesota for manganese ore with a high iron
content.  Other producing states included Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia (see Table 1 in
the above report).  Neither does the US produce very much in the way
of manganese alloys.

Canada does not appear to be a producer of manganese ore, although
some mines are found in Mexico.


Again, let me know what else is needed here.


Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 25 Jul 2005 16:53 PDT
Good evening paf

Your crafting is proceeding very well...

You appear to be very much on track with the information that you have
provided thus far. I did not record the stops along the web highway
that I made to gather information so yours is definitely as good as

My thirst for knowledge has to do with 1) the quantity, quality of the
ore and the price paid for manganese that is being consumed in 2005 by
China. I see that they are a producer but I would like to know more
about their production. How does Chinese production meet internal

2) As far as North America is concerned is there any 2005 or 2004 data
on the available quantity & quality of ore from Mexico, USA or Canada
and what is the market valuation of ore from these mines?

Are you able to fill in your provided list up to 2004 or 2005: Annual
Average 48%-50% Manganese Ore Price?
(Dollars per metric ton)

Subject: Re: Manganese, Ferromaganese Markets? Values?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 27 Jul 2005 19:31 PDT
Hello brudenell-ga, and thanks for the feedback.  I'm glad to hear
that the information thus far is on target for what you need.

I've gathered some additional information on the topics you mentioned:
 China, North America, and price trends.  For some of these, there are
only smatterings of information, rather than a full story.  To really
get the complete picture, you would probably have to purchase one of
the high-price commodity studies available from market research firms.

I trust the information below -- along with the informatin provided
earlier -- fully answers your question.

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,




The lowdown on China seems to be that they have a lot of domestic ore,
but it is generally of low quality (widely dispersed, low Mn content,
costly to extract) and in some areas nearing depletion of
economically-extractable ore.  As their domestic steel production
expands, they are an ever-larger presence on the world stage in terms
of importing Mn-containing ores and related products.  I've provided
links to information below, along with some relevant excerpts (I can't
post the full articles, since they are copyright-protected).


[This article is two years old, but a good overview just the same]
July 03, 2003
China's Imports of Manganese Ore Soars

--China imported 1.145 million tons of manganese ore during the first
five months of this year, up 35.2 percent year on year, and the upward
trend is likely to continue

--Customs experts said the manganese ore was worth 78.28 million US dollars

--China became the world's biggest manganese ore importer last year as
overall imports totaled 2.08 million tons, a record high, worth 150
million US dollars

--China's steel output jumped to 180 million tons in 2002, and is
expected to reach 210 million tons this year, which translates into an
additional demand for 450,000 tons of manganese ore

--Experts said China's lack of high-grade manganese mines was one of
the reasons behind the rapid increase in the imports.


[This recent article, though from South Africa, offers some good
perspective on the influence of China]
Mining Weekly
July 26, 2005

Manganese demand to reach record levels

--Demand for manganese, the silver-grey metal that is a key
strengthening ingredient in steel, is expected to reach new heights
this year.

--...with China's seemingly insatiable appetite for steel forecast to
continue, it is anticipated that the manganese price - for both ore
and beneficiated alloy - will not lose its shine in the foreseeable

--IMI market research analyst Damien Francaviglia said the institute
anticipates that the real consumption of manganese alloys will be
10,8-million tons this year, compared to 10-million tons last
year...This is an increase of 7% year-on-year.

--Last year, world manganese high-grade-ore production increased by
30%, mid-grade output was stable and low-grade production was up 15%.

--In 2004, South Africa was the largest producer and its output was
1,8-million tons in manganese content.

--The 2005 production increases announced worldwide amount to 5% for
ore and 4% for alloys.

--It is estimated that the steel industry will grow to about
1,1-billion tons this year, which means that manganese demand will
remain firm.

--It is anticipated that, by 2010, the world will produce about
1,4-billion tons of steel, which will require more than 14-million
tons of manganese.

--Depleting manganese resources in China and other countries casts
some uncertainty on the contribution that these countries will be able
to make to raw-material supply.

--The growth in the Chinese economy has given rise to many economists
predicting that commodities have entered a supercycle of rising demand
and prices, the likes of which the world has only seen twice in the
last 150 years...China's steel production in 2004 reached
272,8-million tons and the International Iron and Steel Institute
(IISI) expects that it will exceed 300-million tons in 2005.

--The main driver of the country's demand for steel is its growing
consumer base...About 80-million people in China now have an income of
$20 000 or more a year.

--South Africa's two main manganese producers - Samancor and Assmang -
have projects in place to ramp up production.

--Although countries such as Ukraine, China and India produce greater
tonnages of manganese ore than South Africa and other high-grade
producers, such as Gabon and Australia, their metal content is low, at
about 23%...If low-grade production diminishes from these countries,
South Africa will have 92,7% of global manganese
reserves..."Lower-quality manganese is costly to beneficiate and
transport and, as electricity and fuel costs continue to rise, alloy
producers will continue to place a premium on quality.."

--However, he adds that the logistics side of the local industry is
putting a throttle on the speed at which the product can reach the
overseas markets.


The Raw Materials Group has an extensive database of mining operations
around the world -- information is available for a fee.  Their
database includes some China mines:
Dounan Manganese Mine is an operating open pit mine in China. It
mainly produces manganese ore.
Donggou-Jiangkou Manganese Mine is an operating open pit mine in
China. It mainly produces manganese ore.

You might want to contact them about costs, and for a fuller
description of the types of information they have for sale.


You can see in the following spreadsheet table:

that ore from China -- although mined in plentiful amounts -- only
contains 20-30% Mn, as compared to some ores from other parts of the
world (South Africa, Gabon, Australia, India), with Mn content in the
40-50% range.


And here's one of the high-priced market studies I mentioned, that
includes China as well as all the rest of the world:
The World Market for Manganese Ores and Concentrates Including
Manganiferous Iron Ores and Concentrates with Dry-Weight Manganese
Content of 20% or More: A 2005 Global Trade Perspective



There's very little non-propietary information on North American
manganese ore production, partly because US and Canadian operations
are insigificant in terms of the world market.  But even though Mexico
is a producer, there isn't much info out there on what's happening in
Mexico.  Here's what I found, however:

Here's mention of one Mexican mining operation, along with contact information:

Grupo Scorpic Sa. De Cv.
big deposit of manganese in mexico, we are looking for clients in
china or any part of the world

Company Name: Grupo Scorpic Sa. De Cv. 
Contact Person: Mr Juan Vital 
Address: Av. Del Mar #1022 Dept 7, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico 
Zip: 82149 
Telephone: 52 6699 820223 
Fax: 52 6699 838303 
Mobile Phone: 526691014619 


Here's a slightly dated map of mine operations in the US, showing a
single Mn mine in South Carolina:


and here's a bit about the SC mine -- note that the ores seem
restricted to use as brick-additive material, probably an indication
that they are not of a high enough quality for use in steel
Unearthing South Carolina's Riches

...Manganese schist adds body and stability to bricks, as well as
giving them color. It makes bricks brown. It is mined in Cherokee


And for a bit of historical context, here's a list of historical mines
in the US that, at one time, produced manganese:



The following companies are large-scale processors of Mn-containing
materials (ores, alloys, etc):
[NOTE:  This link opens up a spreadsheet with numerous tabs on the
bottom -- click on the tabs to see the various tables offered.  This
information is Table 3]:

Table 3:  Domest Producers of Manganese Products

Erachem Comilog		    	Baltimore, MD
Erachem				New Johnsonville, TN
Highlanders Alloys LLC2		New Haven, WV
Eramet Marietta Inc.		Marietta, OH
Kerr-McGee Chemical LLC		Henderson, NV
Energizer Holdings, Inc.
   Eveready Battery Co. 	Marietta, OH


Canada's production of Mn ore appears to grind to a halt in the 1950's:
Canada's Historical Mineral Production
Figure 17
Canadian Manganese Ore Production,



There's a danger in comparing price trends from different sources,
since the prices can be reported in so many different ways (e.g. price
per ton of ore, price per ton of Mn content, price adjusted for
inflation, etc).  I tried to find a single consistent source of
numbers, with some partial success.


First off, here's some perspective on recent price strength and trends:
Mining Weekly
July 26, 2005

--Steel prices have come off their historic highs since the beginning
of the year...London Metal Exchange (LME) manganese-ore prices have
also softened.

--High-grade manganese ore - with a manganese content of between 48%
and 50% - traded at the $4/t to $4,50/t level on the LME earlier this
In June, the average price was between $3.75/t and $3.85/t...Harding
believes that the decrease in prices is only temporary and can be
attributed directly to a mild cooling down in the Chinese economy,
which resulted from factors such as a shortage of electricity and the
lifting of some export rebates.


Here are some price trends from 1999-2003, though these seem to be
averaged out for various grades of ore:
TABLE 1													

Ore price, dollars per metric ton unit								
1999	2000	2001	2002	2003
2.26	2.39	2.44	2.30	2.41	


The USGS puts out a monthly report on manganese that includes a lot of
information on tonnage, sources, and prices:
Statistics and Information

See, particularly the links to various reports under the heading:

Monthly Publications
Mineral Industry Surveys 

Here's a link to their latest monthly report, for April 2005:

Ore prices for the month for 48%-Mn ore ranged from $4.00-4.95 per ton.  

NOTE that the source of the price information is given as Ryan's
Notes, an industry publication on metal prices.  Their website is at:

They offer a free trial, in case you're interested!


I also have a call into the USGS contact:

USGS Commodity Specialist
Lisa A. Corathers
Phone: 703-648-4973
Fax: 703-648-7757

I asked her for a good source of long-term trend information for
prices, and if I hear back with any new sources of information, I'll
certainly update you with whatever additional information she can


Again, I hope this is what you needed, but feel free to let me know if
there's anything else I can help you with.

All the best,


search strategy -- Google searches on:


"manganese mine OR mines OR mining OR ore" (china OR mexico OR america
OR canada OR us)
Subject: Re: Manganese, Ferromaganese Markets? Values?
From: hayboys-ga on 29 Jul 2005 17:26 PDT
I trade in manganese stocks on the australian stock market, so i have
found this thread very interesting thank you.
If i may add a clarification Mn is sold as units of Mn. To work out
the aproximate US$ price per ton of Mn as ore:
multiply the Mn unit price by the % of Mn in the ore ie

            $3.50     * 40% Mn  =  $3.50 * 40 = $140 a tonne

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