Manganese is a relatively abundant metal, most commonly found in pyrolusite (MnO2), manganite (MnO(OH)), hausmannite (Mn2+Mn3+2O4) and rhodochrosite (MnCO3). Manganese ore is generally beneficiated to produce a manganese concentrate before being extracted and refined into a manganese product. Hydrometallurgical and electrolytic processing of the concentrate is used to obtain a pure manganese product, whereas the production of ferromanganese and silicomanganese involves smelting the ore.
Manganese is an important agent in steel production and is often employed as a ferromanganese or silicomanganese alloy to improve strength, hardness and abrasion resistance of the steel. Electrolytic manganese (as MnO2) is essential in the manufacturing of dry batteries and, more recently, has been used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.