A key input material for steel and other metallic alloys, manganese is also increasingly used in electric vehicle batteries.

Manganese (Mn)

Manganese is an important energy transition material, owing to its common use in lithium-ion batteries. However, by far the largest application of manganese is in steelmaking. South Africa is the leading producer of manganese and holds almost 40 percent of global reserves, although manganese refining takes place almost entirely in China.

Manganese is associated with only a limited range of ESG issues. According to TDi’s ESG data, pollution is the issue that is most associated with manganese. Since 2017, several NGOs and media reports have highlighted severe health impacts linked to pollution from manganese mining in South Africa and Malaysia.

Main Uses and Attributes

Manganese is the fourth-most used metal in the world by tonnage, after iron, aluminium, and copper.5 There is no satisfactory substitute for manganese in steelmaking, which remains by far its largest application.6

Manganese, in the form of ferromanganese or silicomanganese, is used to remove oxygen and sulphur during the process of converting iron ore into iron; it also serves to increase the strength of steel.7 Additionally, manganese is used as an alloy with aluminium and copper.8

Manganese offers a low-cost solution for producing lithium-ion battery technology, making it an attractive component of the battery supply chain.9 Several different types of lithium-ion battery use manganese, including the lithium manganese nickel cobalt oxide battery that is often used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems.10

Main Uses

  • Batteries
  • Metal Alloys
  • Steel

Key Industries

  • Automotive
  • Electronics and Communications
  • Energy

Key Countries

Top Producer South Africa
Top Reserves South Africa

Supply Chain Risk

TDi assesses Manganese for key risks affecting the security of supply, and for its association with artisanal and small-scale mining.

Overall Supply Chain Resilience Risk
Strength of Association with ASM
Very Low Moderate Very High

Country Governance Risks

Manganese's association with countries experiencing:

Violence and Conflict
Weak Rule of Law
Poor Human Rights
Poor Environmental Governance
Very Low Moderate Very High

Association with ESG issues

TDi Sustainability's data rates Manganese's association with the following issues as high or very high:

Very Low Moderate Very High

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