An inorganic compound, this pink solid is deliquescent and a commercially significant source of manganese salt. Over a quarter of a million tons of manganese sulfate are produced worldwide each year, primarily for use as a precursor to manganese metals and other manganese-based chemical compounds. Additionally, manganese sulfate is also used to treat manganese deficient soil. Manganese ore is generally purified via conversion to manganese sulfate using treatments of aqueous solutions of the sulfate form combined with sodium carbonate to initiate the precipitation of manganese carbonate. The resulting manganese carbonate is then calcined to produce the industrial oxide forms. In a laboratory setting, manganese sulfate is most easily produced via a treatment of manganese dioxide with sulfur dioxide. Synthesis or mass production of manganese sulfate is generally essential to its manufacture for use in commercial and industrial processes, as it is exceptionally rare to find naturally occurring manganese sulfate other than as a hydrate.