Molybdenum Availability--market Economy Countries. a Minerals Availability Appraisal.
MISSING :30 pages
The Bureau of Mines evaluated the potential availability of molybdenum resources from 88 mines and deposits that account for more than 90 pct of the demonstrated resource base in market economy countries (mec's). For each property, tonnage-cost relationships were developed that indicate the molybdenum potentially available at different average production costs, including a 15-pct rate of return on invested capital. From the 23 mec primary deposits, 2.5 billion lb mo was determined to be potentially available at a price of $4/lb, rising to 4.7 billion lb mo at $8/lb. Copper price- molybdenum tonnage relationships were developed for those mines and deposits from which molybdenum can be recovered as a byproduct of copper production. This analysis showed that another 3.4 billion lb mo is potentially available based on a copper price of $0.75/Lb, rising to 4.3 billion lb mo at $1.00/Lb. The United States has been the world's largest molybdenum supplier since 1924. Its remaining resources are sufficient to meet the domestic demand of 57 million lb/yr mo (averaged for a 10-yr period) through the end of the century. Production from primary domestic mines was suspended during most of 1983 because of oversupply of materials. A major concern is the cheap molybdenum byproducts from foreign copper operations in which employment and the need for hard currency override economics in meeting production goals.
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