Molybdenum (Mo) is a silver-grey metallic element with an unusually high melting point (2610°C). It is an important alloying element in iron, steels and specialty alloys and is used frequently in combination with other ferrous additives. The molybdenum content in these products ranges from a fraction of 1% to as much as 20%. A commonly used refractory (heat-resistant) metal, molybdenum is also used in catalysts, dyes and pigments. In IRON AND STEEL manufacture, the addition of molybdenum imparts hardness, strength and corrosion resistance and improves weldability. The principal mineral source of molybdenum, molybdenite (molybdenum disulphide, MoS2), may be used as a solid lubricant and as an additive to greases and oils.
In Canada, molybdenum is produced in BC where there is one primary molybdenum mine and several copper mines where molybdenum is produced as a by-product. Canada is the fourth-largest producer of molybdenum in the world, behind the US, China and Chile. Canada produces close to 7 million kg of molybdenum annually.
See alsoMINERAL RESOURCES.