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Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Molybdenite?

Molybdenite is a molybdenum sulfide mineral and the leading ore of molybdenum. It occurs as an accessory mineral in some granites and pegmatites. It is also found in some copper porphyry deposits, contact metamorphic rocks and high temperature vein deposits. It is a soft gray mineral that is easily confused with graphite.

Physical Properties of Molybdenite

Chemical Classification sulfide
Color lead gray
Streak bluish gray grayish black
Luster metallic
Diaphaneity opaque
Cleavage perfect
Mohs Hardness 1 to 2
Specific Gravity 4.6 to 4.8
Diagnostic Properties greasy feel, color, streak, specific gravity
Chemical Composition molybdenum sulfide, MoS2
Crystal System hexagonal
Uses primary ore of molybdenum, specialty libricant

Molybdenite in quartz from Calaveras County, California. Specimen is approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) across

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Molybdenite from Whitehall, Montana. Specimens are approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch (1.3 centimeters to 2.5 centimeters) across.

Molybdenite in quartz from Climax, Colorado. Specimen is approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.

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