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MANGANESE ORE

  • Manganese Ore
  • Mines Producing Manganese Ore

Manganese ore is notable because of its silver- grey metal colour with a pinkish tinge about it. It is quite hard while at the same time reasonably brittle. Manganese ore is commonly found in sedimentary deposits or in metamorphic rocks. The most common ore mineral to contain manganese is pyrolusite.


Manganese Ore is Commonly Combined With Iron
Manganese is designated by the symbol Mn and is found in nature as a free element usually combined with iron. It plays an important part in industry in its use as a metal alloy, especially in the manufacturing of stainless steel. It is also one of the 12 most common elements and if it was found to start diminishing from the Earth's surface because of mining it would be readily available via deep sea mining methods.


Manganese Ore Resembles Iron Ore in Many Ways

Manganese ore resembles iron ore in many ways, its colour, its brittleness, its hardness and it is equally as difficult to fuse but it oxidises easily. It tarnishes slowly, and like iron, rusts in water that contains dissolved oxygen. Its common ions being paramagnetic meaning it has a form of magnetism that is attracted when exposed to an outside applied magnetic field.


Manganese Ore Uses:
- Manganese ore is used to alloy with steel to make it harder, an essential requirement when producing construction material. It also alloys well with aluminium to improve its anti corrosive tendencies, a feature that makes it ideal in the production of cans for the storage of beverages.
- Manganese metal is used as a colouring agent in ceramics and bricks where it is an oxidiser and catalyst
- Manganese dioxide is used in black paints to speed up drying time, it de-colours glass, valuable in dry cell batteries and plays an important role in the manufacture of ferroalloys. It was also used in ancient times by cavemen for paintings on cave walls that have been carbon dated back as far as 30,000 years
- Manganese sulphate is important in animal feeds, and as a micronutrient in the production of fertilisers. Both humans and animals need manganese sulphate trace nutrients as a detoxification agent and as a cofactor with enzymes, as it assists the body to absorb Vitamin B1 that helps to strengthen bones and make them more flexible.
- Magnesium ore in the form of potassium permanganate works as an algicide and bactericide in the treatment of water and wastewater
- Manganese phosphating is used to treat corrosion and rust on steel
- Manganese ions are used industrially as colour pigments


Manganese ore is essential to the iron and steel industry because of its alloying, de oxidising and sulfur fixing characteristics. For these reasons manganese ore has been in great demand around the world for many years. The iron and steel industries currently account for about 90 percent of the total amount of manganese ore mined.


The Steel Hardening Ability of Manganese ore was First Known to the Spartans
The usefulness of manganese in hardening steel first became apparent to the steel manufacturers of ancient Greece when it became obvious that ore containing manganese made Spartan steel products harder than that of their contemporaries. However, it was not universally accepted until 1816 that the right amount of manganese combined with iron ore made steel harder. Without making it brittle. In 1912 a patent was registered in the United States to the effect that manganese phosphating via electrochemical conversion protected firearms against corrosion and rust. This process has been used universally since that time.
 

Australian Mines that produce Manganese Ore

Clarence ( NSW )

Clarence Coal Mine is a leader in mining innovation with its adoption of an underground Flexible Conveyor Train (FCT) out-dating the traditional shuttle train.

Bootu Creek ( NT )

The Bootu Creek open cut manganese mine, 110 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, is a true outback mine among the sand and spinifex.

Groote Eylandt ( NT )

The Groote Eylandt manganese mine in the Northern Territory that is operated by GEMCO, a BHP Billiton subsidiary, has been in operation since the early 1960's.

Nicholas Downs ( WA )

The Nicholas Downs open cut manganese mine in the Pilbara Region of WA is jointly owned by Hancock Prospecting and Mineral Resources.

Peak Hill ( WA )

The Peak Hill open cut manganese mine in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, currently owned by Mineral Resources, is under temporary suspension.

Woodie Woodie ( WA )

The Woodie Woodie open cut manganese mine in Western Australia produces a highly sought after product, particularly in the production of stainless steel.

TEMCO ( TAS )

The TEMCO manganese smelting plant in Northern Tasmania produces 269 thousand tonnes of manganese alloy a year with the use of Tasmanian hydro-electric power.

GEMCO ( NT )

GEMCO manganese open cut mine on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory produces up to 25 percent of the world's annual manganese requirements.

Mt Thirsty ( WA )

The Mt Thirsty base metal project, that is located in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, is being developed as a Joint Venture involving Barra Resources and Conico.

Ant Hill ( WA )

Resumption of Mining, at the now closed Ant Hill manganese project site, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, will be influenced by the future global price of manganese.

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