Molybdenum is a silver-white metallic element with the atomic number 42, atomic weight 95.95 and density 10.2, indicated by the symbol "Mo" on the periodic table.

Molybdenum plays an important role in the alloys it produces with steel due to its strong carbide forming feature. Having a high melting point (2610 ° C), molybdenum also has high thermal conductivity and the lowest heat expansion among pure metals.


Molybdenum is an alloy material used in special steels, pig iron, nickel, cobalt and titanium based alloys. Alloys containing molybdenum are widely used in the production of stainless steel, tubular and tubular tools, super heaters, steel resistances, petroleum products and chemical processes. It is chemically used in molybdenum fabric dyeing, which has a wide range of uses, to obtain alcohol and formaldehyde. In addition, magnet alloys, cast carbides are used in the manufacture of water and gas impermeable materials, and have been added to oils and greases in recent years due to their friction reducing properties.



90% of the world's molybdenum reserves are concentrated in four countries. A total of 12 million tons molybdenum reserve worldwide are: 3,7 million tons in China, 2,7 million tons in USA, 2,4 million tons in Peru, 1.4 million tons in Chile.


In 2022, 250.000 tons of molybdenum were produced worldwide. 93% of this production was carried out in five countries. Molybdenum was produced in China 100,000 tons, 44,000 tons in Chile, 42,000 tons in the USA, 32,000 tons in Peru, 16,000 tons in Mexico.



Molybdenum commonly shows five types of bedding. These are porphyry and disseminated deposits, contact metaformic deposits, quartz veins, pegmatite and aplite dykes and bedded beds in sedimentary rocks. More than 95% of the molybdenum production in the world is made of por molybdenum and porry copper molybdenum deposits.


The most suitable mining method for molybdenum, which can be produced with both underground and aboveground operating methods, is determined by evaluating the size, shape, grade and depth of mineralization. Worldwide, 55% of molybdenum mining is carried out as underground and 45% as open pit.


In its main application in steels and cast irons, there are few substitutes that can be used instead of molybdenum. In fact, due to the availability and versatility of molybdenum, new materials have been attempted to be developed by the industry to utilize alloy properties. Potential substitutes include boron, chromium, niobium (colombium) and vanadium in alloy steels; tungsten in tool steels; There are graphite, tantalum and tungsten for refractory materials in high temperature electric furnaces.


Date of Update: 22 June 2023

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