The world's production of molybdenum was 250,000 tonnes in 2011, the largest producers being China, United States, Chile, Peru and Mexico. The total reserves are estimated at 10 million tonnes, and are mostly concentrated in China, US and Chile. By continent, 93% of world molybdenum production is about evenly split between North America, South America (mainly in Chile), and China. Europe and the rest of Asia (mostly Armenia, Russia, Iran and Mongolia) produce the remainder.
According to the value minerals contained in the molybdenum ore body and their grade, molybdenum mines are classified into three types: a), primary mines, where the recovery of molybdenite is the main goal; b), by-product mines, where the recovery of copper-bearing ores is the primary objective, and molybdenite mining is additional economic value when copper-bearing ore is mined; and c), co-product mines, where the commercial viability of the mine requires that both molybdenite and copper-bearing minerals be recovered.Molybdenum ore mining can be operated by open pit mining method or underground mining method according to ore deposit depth and properties.
If the molybdenum ore deposit is closed to the earth surface, open pit mining method is employed. Here the overburden is excavated to reveal the ore body for easy extraction. If the ore deposit is deep underground, the underground mining technique is employed. The large blocks of ore are undercut and allowed to collapse under their own weight. The resulting rock is removed to the surface for processing.
In molybdenum mining operation, various types of technologies are involved such as blasting, drilling, mining, transporting, crushing, grinding, screening, and washing operations etc. The mined molybdenum ore will first go through crushing and grinding process for size reduction, and then flotation will be applied to recover the concentrates. Other technique involved includes leaching, roasting, smelting etc.
The milled molybdenum ore powder is mixed with a liquid and aerated in the flotation step. The less dense ore rises in the froth to be collected, while the gangue sinks to be discarded. Flotation separates the metallic minerals from the gangue this way and – in the case of molybdenum ores – separates molybdenite from copper sulphide.
SBM has been specialized in mining technology for several decades. We are the world leader in developing mining technology to meet modern requirements for high efficiency and low operating costs. As global mining machinery supplier, we provide whole series of molybdenum mining equipment for sale including extraction plant, crushing machine, grinding mill, screening machine, separation equipment, processing plant, flotation machine, classifier etc. Please contact us for detailed information.
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