Our products – ferromolybdenum and ñopper concentrate – are produced at Sorsk and Zhireken Ferromolybdenum Plants.
Molybdenum is a silvery white, malleable metal with an exceptionally high melting point (2,625°C) used principally as an alloying agent in steel, cast irons and superalloys to enhance hardenability, strength, toughness and resistance to wear and corrosion. Molybdenum is usually added in combination with other alloying metals, such as chromium, columbium, niobium, manganese, nickel and tungsten, to enhance the properties of the alloy. In addition to its use in metallurgical applications, molybdenum is used as a refractory metal in a significant number of chemical applications, including catalysts, lubricants and pigments.
Molybdenum and its alloys contain a unique combination of properties, including resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosion, light weight, thermal and electrical conductivity, incompressibility, low thermal expansion, bondability and strength. As a result, substitution of other metals for molybdenum is limited, particularly in applications involving the use of the metal as an alloying agent in steel and cast iron. Furthermore, prices of substitute metals such as nickel and chrome have generally risen along with the price of molybdenum since 2004, reducing potential cost incentive to substitute heavier, softer and less heat-resistant metals for molybdenum.
The global market for molybdenum is estimated to have grown from approximately 100kt in 1990 to a peak of 214kt in 2008. World molybdenum consumption has grown strongly since 2000, with an annual average growth rate of 5.4% for the period between 2000 and 2008, and is estimated to have declined by approximately 7.5% in 2009.
Molybdenum Consumption by End Use 2009
According to Roskill, demand for molybdenum in steel has grown significantly since the 1990s, driven largely by the increase in stainless steel production, the largest market for molybdenum, which accounted for 24% of total molybdenum consumption in 2009.
Molybdenum is used in a majority of stainless steels to increase resistance to corrosion and is of particular use in industrial and architectural applications. Additions of molybdenum in stainless steel are typically between 1% and 6%, although stainless steel can contain as much as 8% of molybdenum.