Molybdenum has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements. It has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and is highly resistant to corrosion.
Molybdenum is chemically very active and forms hard, stable carbides. This is the property that is often used in high-strength steel alloys. It finds significant usage as a refractory metal in numerous chemical applications, including lubricants, and pigments.
Molybdenum does not occur as a free metal on Earth, but in various oxidation states in minerals.
Around 90,000 tonnes of molybdenum is produced every year. The World Map of Molybdenum Producers shows a list of the major mining areas of the metal. As the data in the map shows, China leads the world in the production of molybdenum with an annual production of 9.4 million metric tonnes. The second-largest molybdenum producer is the United States ; the nation produces 5.6 million metric tonnes annually.
Chile ranks third followed by Peru, Canada, Mexico, Armenia, Russia, Iran, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
It has been observed that molybdenum and its compounds are highly toxic. Some evidence of liver dysfunction and signs of gout have been found in factory workers in Molybdenum-rich areas of Armenia. It can also cause foetal deformities.
Last updated on December 20, 2012
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