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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)


Page 615

  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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