You might know which country produces the most manganese, but do you know where the highest manganese reserves are found?
Manganese investors are often interested to hear which countries produce the most of the metal. After all, if a nation is producing a lot of manganese, many companies are likely operating there — and investment opportunities may thus be available.
However, what investors sometimes fail to consider is manganese reserves, or how much economically mineable manganese a country holds. While in general the world’s top manganese-producing countries also hold high manganese reserves, in some cases countries with high manganese reserves are not putting out much manganese.
With that in mind, here’s an overview of manganese reserves by country, with a particular focus on the three countries that currently hold the highest manganese reserves. All manganese reserves by country data is based on the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on manganese.
1. South Africa
Manganese reserves: 200 million MT
At 200 million MT, South Africa holds the highest manganese reserves in the world by a long shot. And unlike some countries with high manganese reserves, the nation is a major producer of the metal. In fact, it was the world’s top producer of manganese in 2016 with output of 4.7 million MT.
South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32) is a major presence in the South African manganese space. South Africa Manganese, one of the company’s four operations in South Africa, is made up of Metalloys and Hotazel Manganese Mines, which is owned by Hotazel Manganese Mines Proprietary. Notably, Hotazel Manganese Mines is located in the manganese-rich Kalahari Basin, which holds 80 percent of the world’s known manganese ore resources.
Manganese reserves: 140 million MT
Ukraine produces much less manganese than South Africa, but its reserves of the metal are nevertheless high — it put out 320,000 MT of manganese in 2016, and its reserves stand at 140 million MT. Russia Insider has said in the past that it’s difficult for the country to harness its mineral resources due to a combination of corruption, war and mismanagement.
Manganese reserves: 116 million MT
Brazil’s manganese reserves total 116 million MT. The country produced 1.1 million MT of manganese in 2016, almost the same amount it put out in 2015, making it the fifth-largest manganese-producing country.
Major miner Vale (NYSE:VALE) is the largest producer of manganese in the country, and accounts for a whopping 70 percent of its market. According to the company, 80 percent of the manganese it produces comes from the Azul mine.
More manganese reserves by country
South Africa, Ukraine and Brazil have the highest manganese reserves, but many other countries also hold significant manganese reserves. Here’s a quick look at where other nations stand:
- Australia — 91 million MT
- India — 52 million MT
- China — 43 million MT
- Gabon — 22 million MT
- Ghana — 12 million MT
- Kazakhstan — 5 million MT
- Mexico — 5 million MT
Various other countries hold smaller amounts of manganese reserves, with the world total sitting at 690 million MT.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.