Written By Luke Burgess

Posted July 12, 2005

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.

So why should you care about manganese? Because the demand for this metal is skyrocketing.

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 higher.

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.

You can see where I’m going with this.

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.

These are huge demands that can possibly turn into huge profits for you.

We here at Wealth Daily will be keeping our eyes open for a good manganese play for you. So stick with us.

– Luke Burgess

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