Of all the metals that make modern life possible, steel is the most widely used – and iron ore is its main ingredient.
Iron ore is needed for train tracks and other types of infrastructure, which is one reason for the great demand from emerging economies such as China and Brazil.
But it’s also used in medicine, cosmetics, engineering, construction, paint and a whole range of products we need for modern life.
Technology is demanding increasingly sophisticated forms of steel. Manganese is a vital component of stainless steel and many advanced alloys.