Manganese is a silvery-gray metal that resembles iron. Its name comes from Magnesia, the same Greek region giving names to other materials like Magnesium and Magnetite. Manganese compounds were used by Egyptian and Roman glassmakers to add or remove color from glass. With its symbol Mn, Manganese is the 12th most abundant element on the Earth's crust, and it is difficult to fuse, easy to oxidize, and paramagnetic. Manganese is synthesized in large stars, by the impact of cosmic rays on iron, shortly before the supernova explosion.
The iron ores used in Ancient Greece to produce war tools led to the conviction that their Manganese content was able to make the Spartan Steel exceptionally hard. Despite some estimations state the ocean floor has 500 billion tonnes of Manganese nodules, viable Manganese resources are way smaller and irregularly distributed, with about 80% of the known world Manganese resources located in South Africa (over 3 million tonnes yearly). Manganese demand proceeds for about 90% from Steelmakers because of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidising, and alloying use. Another important application field is the one of Aluminium Alloys.