Based on India’s Mineral Resources, Third Edition by S. Krishnaswamy and R. K. Sinha, Oxford & IBH Publ. Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1988 and websites.
See also the section on Manganese Ore in “Mineral Specification” section on this website

Manganese (Mn) is a gray-white to silvery metal with a moderate melting temperature and relatively high specific gravity (7.2 to 7.4). Manganese is added to iron along with other metals and carbon, to make steel. Manganese never occurs as the native metal in nature, but instead in some combination with other elements.
There are over 100 minerals known to contain manganese. The most important manganese ore minerals identified psilomelane (massive hard manganese oxides), hausmannite (Mn2+Mn23+O4), pyrolusite (Mn4+ O2), wad (soft, massive manganese oxides), and braunite (Mn2+Mn63+SiO12). Other minerals such as manganite (Mn3+O (OH)), bementite (Mn82+Si6O15 (OH) 10), and rhodochrosite (Mn2+CO3) have also been noted. Braunite, is a black, to steel-gray colored mineral with a metallic luster, with hardness of 6 to 6.5. Psilomelane is a hydrous manganese manganate. It is a black mineral with a sub-metallic to dull luster, which has a sp. gr. of about 4.4 to 4.5 and hardness of 5 to 5.5. Pyrolusite is an oxide of manganese.

Because of its sulfur fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties, the principal use of manganese is in iron and steel manufacture. Relatively small amounts of manganese and different manganese compounds are utilized in the manufacture of other metal alloys, animal feed, soil conditioners, dyes and paints, pharmaceuticals, dry-cell batteries, and as a coloring material in pottery, tile, and brick.
Three important types of deposits could be recognized: (i) deposits associated with the Archean rocks, including the gondites, (ii) deposits associated with the kodurites, and (iii) lateritoid type of deposits. The first type of deposit is easily the most important. The principal ore minerals are branuite and psilomelane with some amount of cryptomelane and pyrolusite.

The manganese ore deposits of Sirkakulam district in Andhra Pradesh belong to the second type, and they are associated with the Khondalites. The deposits of Garbham, Garividi, Kodur belong to this group. The principal minerals are psilomelane and pyrolusite with minor amounts of branuite.

Based on the mode of occurrence the G.S.I. has now classified the manganese ore deposit of India in to the following four major groups:

          (a) Syngenetic gonditic deposits (spessartite - rhodonite -quartz) associated with highly metamorphosed           Sausar series of rocks in Balaghat, Chhindwara, Jabalpur, and Jhabua districts of Madhya Pradesh,           Bhandara and Nagpur districts of Maharashtra and its extensions and equivalents in Panchamahal,           Sabarkhantha and Banaskantha districts of Gujarat and Banswara and Sawai Madhopur districts of           Rajasthan.

          (b) Syngenetic reef deposits of hybrid origin associated with highly metamorphosed Kodurite suite of rocks           (feldspar - spandite - apatite) in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Adilabad and Hyderabad districts of Andhra           Pradesh and Koraput and Bolangir districts of Orissa.

          (c) Replacement deposits in Iron ore series in Jamda-Koira valley of Singhbhum and Orissa and Dharwars           in Karnataka and Goa. Deposits of Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts of Orissa, North Kanara, Bellary,           Hospet, Tumkur, Chitradurga and Ratnagiri districts and those of Goa belong to this group.

          (d) Lateritoid deposits and supergene enrichments associated with all the above deposits.

In general, Indian manganese ore is hard, lumpy and quite suitable for metallurgical industries. Except in some deposits as those of Balaghat, North Kanara, Sandur and a few others, the phosphorus content is usually high. Similarly, the iron content is also comparatively high so that only a few deposits produce ores suitable for use in the battery and chemical manufactures.

Colloformic manganese ore, Rajasthan

As per the National Mineral Inventory as on 1.4.2000, the recoverable reserves of manganese ore are placed at 191 million tonnes. The major reserves in the country are of blast furnace grade. The reserves of ferro-manganese grades are limited to about 11% of the total reserves.


Production of manganese ore during 2003-2004 (up to 31.12.2003) is estimated at 1.22 million tonnes as compared to 1.19 million tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year. Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are the principal producing states, together accounting for 95% of the total production of Manganese ore during the period of April-Dec., 2003-2004.

Details of production anc despatches of Manganese Ore from the year 2001-02 to 2003-04 are given below :-
Year / Period Production Despatches
Qty. (00CT) Value (Rs. Crores) Total (000T) For Internal Consumption (C00T) For Exports (000T)
2001-02 1,550 213.24 1,440 1240 200
2002-03 (P) 1,660 245.52 1,550 1290 210
2003-04 upto
Dec.03 (E)
1,220 178.52 1,080 940 140
(P) - Provisional                     (E) - Estimated
Estimated {comprises the recorded figures upto October, 2003 and estimated for November and December. 2003}
Source : Indian Bureau of Mines, nagpur.
The world’s leading producers are South Africa, Gabon, Brazil, Australia and India, which is now the world’s sixth largest producer of manganese ore. It is estimated that about 20% of the manganese deposits of the world are in India .The important deposits lie in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa.
Map showing important Manganese Deposits of India
The ore of manganese enjoy a high order of strategic importance. Since no quality steel can be produced without the addition of small amount of manganese, it is aptly called Achilles heal of the Iron and steel industry on the fabric of which the economy of the Nation rests. Madhya Pradesh is India's foremost source of manganese ore with reserve of 23.64 million tonnes accounting for 14.13% of the National reserve of 167.31 million tonnes. The deposits are mostly located in Balaghat and Chhindwara districts constituting the bulk of deposit available in the state. These deposit are associated with the Archean rocks, included in the Gondites. Three types of deposits are found viz., the primary bedded type, the supergene lode type and the boulder types. Braunite is the chief ore mineral in the first type of deposit, while cryptomelane and Pyrolusite.

In Balaghat district, conformable bedded deposits and lensoid bodies of manganese ores as well as their residual weathering products are found in intensely deformed metasedimentary rocks belonging to the Mansar formation (which includes the Gonditic rocks), belonging to the Precambrian Sausar series. Braunite is the important mineral. Other manganese ores noticed include cryptomelane pyrolusite type oxides, hollandite and jacobsite. The most important deposits in Balaghat district include Ukwa, Tirodi, Bharweli, Ramrama, Sithapathor-Sukri Langar etc.

The Balaghat belts of deposits are under active exploitation by M/s Manganese Ore India Ltd. and some private enterprises. Nearly 90% of the total production of manganese ore is shared by MOIL. Manganese is seldom used directly as metal but finds it's application in various value added products like ferro-manganese, steel making, dry batteries, chemical and glass industries. The bulk of reserves of manganese ore found in Balaghat belt are of blast furnace grade and the reserve of Ferro manganese ore is very limited. The MOIL has contemplated to establish a Ferro manganese plant utilizing the ores available at Balaghat by upgrading. The MOIL has also set up a plant based on indigenous technology to manufacture electrolytic manganese dioxide. The product is used for the manufacture of dry battery cell.

The Bharweli deposit is located at the eastern end of the Balaghat plain and near the foot of the Baihar plateue. It is one of the biggest manganese ore deposits in India.The principal ore is compact massive psilomelane with some hollandite but in southern portion of the ore band a small percentage of braunite is also found along with psilomelane.

The Ukwa manganese ore deposit is loacted near Ukwa village on the Baihar plateue. Both psilomelane and braunite are found. Some amount of pyrolusite is also noticed especially in the northern portion of the mine.

In Tirodi group of mines the manganese ore horizon belongs to the Lohangi zone at the contact between Tirodi biotite gneiss and Mansar mucovite schist. The rocks are inensely folded and faulted. The manganese ore deposits are represented by metasedimentary beds of braunite- quratzite and gondite forming “Reef deposits” as well as ‘boulder ore’ or detrital deposit derived from the above primary deposits. The bedded deposits occur as conformable tabular bodies as well as lenses and bands ranging in thickness from a thin lamena to seven meters. The ore bands are of variable length and thickness. The ore consists of primary braunite with subordinate amounts of psilomelane-cryptomelane type oxides, pyrolusite and other minerals.

The Tirodi group comprises the prinipal reef deposits at Tirodi, Jamrapani, Pawnia and Chikmara. Of these, the south Tirodi includes the largest and richest mine in the area.

In the Chhindwara deposits, the manganese deposits cover an area of 297 sq. Km in a portion of the Kanhan valley. The ores are associated with manganese silicate rocks (Gondites and rhodonite bearing rocks) which form lenticular bands intercalated along the strike of a complex series of metamorphic rocks traversed by granites and pegmatites.

In Jabalpur distrcit, manganese ores are associated with quartzites traversing the phyllites and dolomitic limestones of Aravalli system. The chief ore minerals are raunite with some psilomelane, pyrolusite and hollandite. The major occurrences are at Kajlidogri, Tumdia, Mandli and Rampura. In Bilaspur district, low grade manganes ore comprising pyrolusite, psilomelne, manetite and wad occur between Ratanur and Kori.

In Jhabua district, manganese ores are associated with quartzites traversing the phyllites and dolomitic limestones of Aravalli system. The chief ore minerals are braunite with some psilomelane, pyrolusite and hollandite. The major occurrences are at Tumdia, Mandli and Rampura. In Bilaspur district, low grade manganese ores comprising pyrolusite, psilomelane, manganite and wad.

(up to February 2004)

S.No. Name of Mineral Unit of Production Production Status of M.P. in India (%) Status in Mineral Producing States of the Country

Thousand Tonnes

330 21.36

Orissa is also one of the important producers of manganese ores in India. Some of the important low phosphorus ores are produced in the Bonai-Keonjhar belt in Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts which incidentally furnish about 80 percent of the Orissa output. Other major deposits occur in the districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, and Koraput. Only smaller occurrences are found in Bara, Rairakhol, Sambalpur and Ganjam districts. The Bonai-Keonjhar belt is nearly 50km long and 22km wide. Here the manganese ore bodies occur as lenticular or irregular masses up to a few tens of meters in depth in shales, brecciated chert and laterite capping them. The bulk of the production is obtained from the lateritised deposits. Grade wise, according to G.S.I. 10 to 15 % is of high grade (over 46 percent Mn), 25 to 30 percent is of medium grade (36 to 45 percent Mn) and the rest of lower grade (below 30 to 35 percent Mn). Only one or two deposits carry ores confirming to the dioxide grade.

Pyrolusite is the main ore mineral with traces of cryptomelane. Both reinform and mamillary forms of pyrolusite are found. Psilomelane is also noticed in this region and it is very often associated with wad. When found massive, it is of a dark steel grey to bluish grey colour but the cavernous type of ore carrying pyrolusite and magnetite in the geodal cavities are more common. Both pyrolusite and magnetite are thus of secondary origin. Wad is also found in considerable quantities.

The important deposits of Keonjhar district lie in the Jamda-Koira valley and include the deposits of: Barabil, Nandih, Bhadrasahi, Horomoto, Roida, Tiringpahar, Dalapahar, Dhubna, Sidh Math, Joda West, Chormalda, Thakurani, Kali Matti, Belkundi, Bolani Lasarda, and some others. A good many deposits, especially, in the Kalimatti area carry dioxide ore suitable for battery manufacturer.

In the Sundergarh district, important ‘lateritoid’ deposits are found near Patmunda, Potadih, Nandidih, Bhutura, Malda and other places. Here the ore usually carry less than 45 percent Mn content.

In the Gangpur area, most of the manganese ores are associated with the typical Gonditic type of rocks and the principal ore minerals are branuite and psilomelane with small quantities of a powdery pyrolusite. Here the deposits are tabular and conformable with the country rocks. Here the important deposits occur around Ghorijhor, in Manomunda, and Birbira (Kusummunda). In this district, the ores found in the Ghorijhor-Manomunda group are the most extensive and the best available. Other occurrences with the Gondites also occur in Gobira, Pandrisala, Nakti, Panchra, Kohupani and Dhumagarh and other places. A small low grade deposit of manganese ores (pyrolusite, psilomelane and wad) is found along the contact of the khondalites with the granite gneisses.

In the Bolangir district, a number of deposits carrying commonly dark grey or grayish-black colored psilomelane with occasional amounts of pyrolusite are found in the khondalites. The major occurrences are: (1) Satparliadungri, (2) Gadshankar, (3) Bhalundungri, (4) Kapilbahal and Kumiapali, (5) Kaniamanga, (6) Luhadungri, and (7) Lamen hill. In addition, there are at least 16 other smaller occurrences of manganese ores in this district. The range in composition is: Manganese (38.00-54.15%); Iron (3.10-18.00%); Silica (Nil to 8.60%); Phosphorous (0.224- 0.377).

These ores may be classified as ferruginous ores. Unlike in the Jamda-Koira valley, the phosphorous content of these ores is relatively high though the P and SiO2 contents are within the acceptable limits.

In Koraput district, an important deposit of manganese ore associated with the khondalites is found near Kutingi. Smaller deposits occur at Ambodala, Devajolla and Pullabadi. In Kutingi, the common ore mineral is psilomelane with some amount of wad and thin streaks and narrow bands of a black powdery mineral, probably pyrolusite.

Between Boripattu and Minakhunti in Kalahandi district, psilomelane and pyrolusite ores occur in fracture zones in khondalites. The deposit at Nishkal is easily the most important one in this district.

In Ganjam and Sambalpur districts, low grade ores of manganese occur as lenses, in Khondalites and lateritised zones at Boirani, Purushottampur, Naktipalli and Mukteswar and other places.


In Karnataka, manganese ore deposits are found in parts of the Shimoga, Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Kadur and Tumkar districts and in the Sandur region of the Bellary district, and in the Dandeli region of the North Kanara district. Small occurrence of manganese ores have also been recorded from the Bijapur, Belgaum and Dharwar districts, but they are not of any commercial importance.

In the Shimoga district the manganese ores occur in greenstone belt and occur in four sectors viz.,
(a) Kumsi, Shankargudda, Mandagadde and Jayapura deposits,
(b) Shikaripura area,
(c) Channagiri, area comprising Joldha, Bhadigund, Siddarahalli, and
(d) Sulekere area.

Of those listed, the deposits of Shankargudda, Kumsi and Mandagadde are of high grade and are being mined. The common ores are psilomelane, pyrolusite and wad.

Low-grade ores carry 39.78 percent of manganese and 7.08 percent of iron. A small amount of high-grade ore analyzing 52.02 percent manganese and 7.08 percent iron is also found. In the same district, concentrations of manganese ores associated with the ferruginous laterite are found near Hullahalli, Haramballi, and in the Shankargudda reserved forest south of Sirgere.

In North Kanara district, the important manganese bearing localities include Dudhmala, Bisgod, Arabil, Shirgur, Kovla Pusali belt, Mirgam Anmode, Palda and others. The usual grade of ore carries 36 to 52 percent of manganese content.

In the Dandeli region of North Kanara district, the low grade ores analyze 38.09 percent manganese and 5.83 percent iron. Here, psilomelane and pyrolusite are the usual ores but a little branuite may be also found. In the Usoda, Nagari, Chipoli and Hudra areas of North Kanara district, psilomelane and wad occur as surficial deposits.

In the Chitradurga district, second and third grade manganese ore of the replacement type occur in the following localities: Nellikatte, Sivaganga, Nagargatte, Bettadnagenhalli, Marenahalli, Janmaoura, Kenkere Nakkikere and at Lakkaihalli, Kanchipura Bhimasamudra, and Hullikatte area. Here also psilomelane and pyrolusite are found.

In Dharwar district, low to medium grade manganese ores are found near Kelur, Kadol and Chikvedavatti villages. The manganese ores found in Vajra and Kudurakanave Forest area are small and low grade (25 to 40%Mn). They have been mostly exhausted.

In Sandur region, in Bellary district the manganese ore deposits are mainly concentrated along the western part of the Sandur schist belt. The important deposits are found in the Kammadheruvu, Kannevihalli and Ramandurg areas. The chief ores are wad and psilomelane and usually they occur as a mixture of wad and psilomelane. The better grades of ores is found in the Kumaraswami area. Most of these ores being of low grade can be used for manufacture of spiegeleisen.

Manganese ore deposits of Maharashtra are a part of the world famous manganese ore producing Nagpur-Bhandara-Balaghat region of India from which manganese ore is exported to many countries in the world.

The manganese ores are present in three different rock formations:
i) those associated with laterite, called lateroid type in Satara district,
ii) those present in Kamthi rocks occurring in Yavatmal district,
iii) those associated with Precambrian metasediments occurring in Nagpur, Bhandara and Sindhudurg districts.
The first two do not form sizable or economic ore deposits. The last category is important as it includes good number of economically viable deposits with considerable quantities of high grade ore. The deposits in this category are associated with gondite rock.

Ore bodies are predominantly composed of a mixture of branuite, pyrolusite, cryptomelane and psilomelane. They occur as reefs or lenticular pockets parallel to the strike of enclosing rocks which may be gondite, manganiferous quartzite or mica schist. The ore bodies are enclosed at three horizons – top, middle and bottom of the Mansar Formation of the Sausar Group. Out of these the horizon at the bottom of Mansar Formation and top of the Lohangi Formation are the most important as here are present the largest and the best ore body. The manganese ore deposits of Maharashtra are metamorphosed sedimentary deposits (G.G. Deshpande, Geology of Maharashtra, Geological Society of India, 1998)

In Bhandara district, the ore minerals present and the mode of occurrence of the manganese ores are similar to those in the adjoining Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh. In fact Bhandara deposits can be locked upon as the southern extension of Balaghat ones.

Less important occurrences are also reported from Ratangiri district which are associated with lateritised Dharwarian metasediments. The deposit of Ratangiri district is more ferruginous and cannot be utilized without beneficiation.

Manganese nodule, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are rock concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. The core may be microscopically small and is sometimes completely transformed into manganese minerals by crystallization. When visible to the naked eye, it can be a small test (shell) of a microfossil (radiolarian or foraminifer), a phosphatized shark tooth, basalt debris or even fragments of earlier nodules.

Nodules vary in size from tiny particles visible only under a microscope to large pellets more than 20 centimeters across. However, most nodules are between 5 and 10 cm in diameter, about the size of potatoes. Their surface is generally smooth, sometimes rough, mammilated (knobby) or otherwise irregular. The bottom, buried in sediment, is generally rougher than the top.
Growth and composition
Nodule growth is one of the slowest of all geological phenomena – in the order of a centimeter over several million years. Several processes are involved in the formation of nodules, including the precipitation of metals from seawater (hydrogenous), the remobilization of manganese in the water column (diagenetic), the derivation of metals from hot springs associated with volcanic activity (hydrothermal), the decomposition of basaltic debris by seawater (halmyrolitic) and the precipitation of metal hydroxides through the activity of microorganisms (biogenic). Several of these processes may operate concurrently or they may follow one another during the formation of a nodule.

The chemical composition of nodules varies according to the kind of manganese minerals and the size and characteristics of the core. Those of greatest economic interest contain manganese (27-30 %), nickel (1.25-1.5 %), copper (1-1.4 %) and cobalt (0.2-0.25 %). Other constituents include iron (6 %), silicon (5%) and aluminum (3%), with lesser amounts of calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, titanium and barium, along with hydrogen and oxygen.
Nodules lie on the seabed sediment, often partly or completely buried. They vary greatly in abundance, in some cases touching one another and covering more than 70 per cent of the bottom. The total amount of polymetallic nodules on the sea floor was estimated at 500 billion tons by A.A. Archer in 1981. They can occur at any depth, even in lakes, but the highest concentrations have been found on vast abyssal plains in the deep ocean between 4,000 and 6,000 meters.

Polymetallic nodules were discovered in 1868 in the Kara Sea, in the Arctic Ocean off Siberia. During the scientific expeditions of the H.M.S. Challenger (1872-76), they were found to occur in most oceans of the world. Nodules of economic interest have been found in three areas: the north central Pacific Ocean, the Peru Basin in the southeast Pacific, and the center of the north Indian Ocean. The most promising of these deposits in terms of nodule abundance and metal concentration occur in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone of the eastern equatorial Pacific between Hawaii and Central America.
Interest in the potential exploitation of polymetallic nodules generated a great deal of activity among prospective mining consortia in the 1960s and 1970s. Almost half a billion dollars was invested in identifying potential deposits and in research and development of technology for mining and processing nodules. These initial undertakings were carried out primarily by four multinational consortia composed of companies from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan and two groups of private companies and agencies from France and Japan. There were also three publicly sponsored entities from the Soviet Union, India and China.

In the mid-seventies, a $70-million international joint venture succeeded in collecting multi-ton quantities of manganese nodules from the abyssal plains (18,000+ depth) of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Significant quantities of nickel (the primary target) as well as copper and cobalt were subsequently extracted from this "ore" using both pyro and hydro methods. In the course of this 8-year project, a number of ancillary developments evolved, including the use of near-bottom towed side-scan sonar array to assay the nodule population density on the abyssal silt whilst simultaneously performing a sub-bottom profile with a derived, vertically-oriented, low-frequency acoustic beam.

The technology and art developed during the course of this project were never commercialized because the last two decades of the 20th century saw a glut of nickel production. The estimated $3.5-billion (1978 US dollars) investment to implement commercialization was an additional factor. Sumitomo Metal Mining continues to maintain a small (place-keeping) organization in this field.
Legal developments
The promise of nodule exploitation was one of the main factors that led developing nations to propose that the deep seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction should be treated as a “common heritage of mankind”, with proceeds to be shared between those who developed this resource and the rest of the international community. This initiative eventually resulted in the adoption (1982) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the establishment (1994) of the International Seabed Authority, with responsibility for controlling all deep-sea mining in international areas. The first legislative achievement of this intergovernmental organization was the adoption (2000) of regulations for prospecting and exploration for polymetallic nodules, with special provisions to protect the marine environment from any adverse effects. The Authority followed this up (2001-2002) by signing 15-year contracts with seven private and public entities, giving them exclusive rights to explore for nodules in specified tracts of the seabed, each 75,000 square kilometers in size. The United States, whose companies were among the key actors in the earlier period of exploration, remains outside this compact as a non-party to the Law of the Sea Convention.

In the meantime, interest in the extraction of nodules had waned. Three factors were largely responsible: the difficulty and expense of developing and operating mining technology that could economically remove the nodules from depths of five or six kilometers and transport them to the ocean surface, the high taxes the international community would charge for the mining, and the continuing availability of the key minerals from land-based sources at market prices. The commercial extraction of polymetallic nodules is not considered likely to occur in less than two decades.