Historical information

This specimen was recovered from Broken Hill, NSW. It was given the name Mangan Hedenbergite in 1819 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in honor of Mr. Anders Ludvig of Hedenberg who was the first to define hedenbergite as a mineral. Hedenbergite, belongs in the pyroxene group having a monoclinic crystal system. The mineral is extremely rarely found as a pure substance. Mangan Hedenbergite is a manganese bearing variety of Hedenbergite.


Manganese is the world’s fourth most used mineral after iron, aluminium, and copper primarily because it has no satisfactory substitute in its major applications. Globally, the steel industry is the primary user of manganese metal, utilizing it as an alloy to enhance the strength and workability of steel and in the manufacture of tin cans. Manganese is a key component of certain widely used aluminium alloys and, in oxide form, dry cell batteries used in electric vehicles. These batteries are in high demand. Another potential use for manganese may as an additive to help coat and protect a car’s engine. Manganese is also used for non-metallurgical purposes such as plant fertilizers, animal feed, and colorants for bricks.

This specimen is part of a larger collection of geological and mineral specimens collected from around Australia (and some parts of the world) and donated to the Burke Museum between 1868-1880. A large percentage of these specimens were collected in Victoria as part of the Geological Survey of Victoria that begun in 1852 (in response to the Gold Rush) to study and map the geology of Victoria. Collecting geological specimens was an important part of mapping and understanding the scientific makeup of the earth. Many of these specimens were sent to research and collecting organisations across Australia, including the Burke Museum, to educate and encourage further study.

Physical description

A hand-sized mineral specimen in shades of silver and black