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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Largest Manganese Reserve in Asia Found in China's Guizhou Province

Asia's largest manganese ore found in China.

(Photo : YouTube) Asia's largest manganese ore found in China.

China has discovered a reserve containing 203 million tons of manganese, the largest in Asia, in Guizhou province, local officials said on Friday.

According to the local government, the provincial department of geology and mineral exploration found the Pujue reserve lying in the mountains of the Songtao Miao autonomous district of Tongren City. The ore uncovered could be worth over 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion).

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Chen Yuchuan, a geologist and academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that there have been at least four large manganese reserves found in Guizhou in recent years, totaling around 600 million tons of minerals.

"The newly discovered ore deposits make up 60 percent of China's total proven reserves and will greatly reduce the country's reliance on imports," Chen said.

China is the biggest producer and consumer of manganese in the world. Manganese could be used to make batteries and magnetic new materials. It is also an essential ingredient for steel.

According to the US Geological Survey's Mineral Resources Program, the US is highly dependent on manganese imports and does not have its own production facilities. The country is said to need at least half a million tons of manganese per year, and most of which are consumed by the steel market.

Australia, China, Gabon, and South Africa are the biggest manganese producers in the world, accounting for at least 90 percent of the global reserves. Interestingly, 70 percent of the global manganese reserves is contained in South Africa's Kalahari District, according to Palisade Research.

The International Manganese Institute forecasted that the global steel industry would continue to increase its manganese demand at a clip of about two percent per year. The US is expected to spearhead this year, projecting a 4.4 percent increase in steel production.

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