During the past few years, biomineralized manganese has been shown to cause ennoblement of various stainless steels to open circuit potentials of 300-400 mV/SCE. We have demonstrated that ennoblement, caused by biologically deposited manganese minerals, along with a relatively low stainless steel pitting potential, caused by the presence of chloride, is sufficient to initiate and drive active pitting corrosion. Stainless steel samples (type 304L), chemically or microbiologically ennobled with manganese dioxide, were exposed to a 0.35% w/v NaCl solution; an environment otherwise not corrosive against the 304L stainless steel. In the first case, steel samples were ennobled by electroplating the sample with a thin film of manganese dioxide, except for a small anodic area. In the latter case, the manganese dioxide was deposited on the steel within biofilms of the manganese oxidizing bacterium Leptothrix discophora SP-6. After 24 h exposure to the chloride solution the samples were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Both types of ennobled samples were found severely pitted, whereas reference samples (w/o manganese minerals) had remained intact.