SA’s platinum group metals are fêted because the country controls primary production and has the world’s largest resources. But another mineral in which SA is similarly dominant, at least in terms of resources, tends to occupy less of the limelight.

Manganese has been mined for more than a century in the Northern Cape. Thanks to the geological process that created the manganese-rich Kalahari Basin, the province is home to more than three-quarters of the world’s land-based supply of a mineral fundamental to steel production...

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