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Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is not found as a free element in nature, it is often found in combination with iron, and in many minerals.  Manganese is a pinkish-grey, chemically active element. It is a hard metal and is very brittle. It is hard to melt, but easily oxidised. Manganese is reactive when pure, and as a powder it will burn in oxygen, it reacts with water (it rusts like iron) and dissolves in dilute acids.