Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Kummer, John T.
Molybdenum, pp. 615-628 PDF (1.6 MB)
615Molybdenum By John T. Kummer1 The molybdenum market remained strong during 1978 and 1979 with estimated world demand exceeding mine output during both years. Limitations on supply, continued producer price increases, and low inventory levels characterized the industry. Strikes at major Canadian mines also contributed to the tight worldwide availability, particularly in 1979. Domestic production exhibited steady growth as a major mine moved closer to capacity output. The United States accounted for 60% and 63% of world output in 1978 and 1979, respectively, and exported slightly over one half of its production, chiefly to Western Europe and Japan. Despite the supply tightness, U.S. industrial demand for molybdenum grew to levels comparable to the high-demand years of 1973 and 1974. Mining firms were very active in exploring and evaluating molybde num prospects. Several properties, primarily in the United States and Canada, were committed for development; these will increase world supply significantly in the early and mid 1980's. Legislation and Government Programs.—The General Services Administration (GSA) shipped the last of the molybdenum from the Government stockpile excesses in 1977. Present stockpile goals set by GSA do not include molybdenum materials. During 1979, the U.S. Congress considered legislation that would determine which Federal Lands in Alaska would be opened for potential mineral exploitation. The development of a large molybdenum deposit in southeastern Alaska would likely be contingent on provisions in an Alaskan Lands Act, which had not been enacted in final form by yearend. Table 1.—Salient molybdenum statistics (Thousand pounds of contained molybdenum and thousand dollars) 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 United States: Concentrate: Production Shipments Value Consumption Importsforconsumption Stocks,Dec.31:Mineandplant Primary products: Production Shipmeüts Consumption Stocks, bec. 31: Producers World:Production 105,980 105,170 $259,323 90,046 2,567 10,680 87,501 89,789 51,743 22,863 r180238 113,233 114,527 $333,494 84,966 2,093 9,390 83,970 99,144 50,448 13,210 r195,473 122,408 124,974 $450,421 91,041 1,976 9,161 90,520 100,626 54,557 10,141 r209784 131,843 130,694 $607,950 96,375 2,705 8,980 96,052 105,921 61,091 7,996 P220,922 143,967 143,504 1871,068 103,152 2,329 9,520 101,754 109,419 60,388 8,502 e227,o97 5Estimat ~Prellminary. TRevised. 1For 1979, value is based on the average domestic price of molybdenum in technical-grade molybdic oxide ($6.07 per pound) sold by the major domestic producer.
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