Copper and Molybdenum Concentrates

Molybdenum does not occur in nature in native form. Molybdenum may be found in numerous mineral rocks, but only Molybdenite is the mineral used for recovery of molybdenum commercially. Molybdenite usually exists along sulfide ores of other metals (predominantly copper). Molybdenum mines can be divided into three different categories on the basis of rock minerals:

  • Primary Mines: Mines where molybdenum is directly extracted.
  • By-Product Mines: Mines where extraction of Molybdenite counts extra income to the miner and generally happens in copper mines.
  • Co-Product Mines: Mines where extraction of both copper and molybdenum are the main purpose.

Molybdenum is produced as a by-product in Iran, and the solely producer of molybdenum is NICICo. Copper and molybdenum concentrate obtained from flotation is dewatered in thickeners of copper-molybdenum and then transferred to molybdenum factory, where Molybdenite ore is separated from copper ores and dried, after repeating of milling and flotation.

NICICo has been assigned as the greatest producer of copper and molybdenum concentrate in the Middle East in 2015. The following table indicates the NICICo’s production amount of copper and molybdenum concentrate.

Thousand Tons

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Copper Concentrate

902.4

825.5

788.8

798.3

984.4

Molybdenum Concentrate

6.7

6.6

6.3

6.4

6.4

 
 

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