Minerals (Category B)
Manganese is a gray-white metal with a pinkish tinge, and is very brittle, but hard. It was discovered 1774 by Johann Gahn. Manganese easily reacts with water and air. On Earth, manganese is never found as a free metal, but it is found in a number of minerals. The most important of these minerals is pyrolusite, the main ore mineral for manganese. Manganese is essential to iron and steel production. The U.S., Japan, and Western Europe are all nearly deficient in economically mineable manganese. South Africa and the Ukraine have over 80% of the world's reserves.