Science: Strategic Metal No. 1

Science moved the U.S. closer to wartime self-sufficiency last week in the vital, imported metal manganese. Grey-white and brittle, manganese is a steelmaker's necessity—paradoxically, to make their steel less brittle.

The U.S. has abundant manganese deposits, but nearly all of them are low-grade and many of them contain the mineral in the wrong form for easy separation: manganese dioxide. But two new processes developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines are on the point of making low-grade manganese oxide ore a useful citizen of steel metallurgy. Last week in three new pilot plants at Boulder City, Nev., where oxide ore beds adjoin...

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