Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat Articles
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

The Mineralogy of Molybdenum

General Properties
Atomic Number:42
Standard atomic weight (Ar):95.96(2)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d5 5s1
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.16
Atomic Radius:190 pm
Ionic Radius:69 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:684 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-72 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-2,-1,1,2,3,4,5,6
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:2896 K
Boiling Point:4912 K
Density:10.28 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Molybdenum
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
92Mo14.84%>1.9x1020yβ+β+ ?92Zr
94Mo9.25%-Spontaneous fission ?
95Mo15.92%-Spontaneous fission ?
96Mo16.68%-Spontaneous fission ?
97Mo9.55%-Spontaneous fission ?
98Mo24.13%>1x1014yβ-β- ?98Ru
Main ions of Molybdenum
NameIonExample minerals
molybdate[MoO4]2-Wulfenite, Powellite
Other Information
Year Discovered:1778
Discovered By:
Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Year Isolated:1781
Isolated By:
Peter Jacob Hjelm
Named For:From Greek: molybdos - "lead"
CPK color coding:#54B5B5
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridesmolybdenum nitrideMoN+3
Sulfidesmolybdenum disulphideMoS2+4Jordisite, Molybdenite
dimolybdenum trisulphideMo2S3+3
Selenidesmolybdenum diselenideMoSe2+4
Telluridesmolybdenum ditellurideMoTe2+4
Fluoridesmolybdenum trifluorideMoF3+3
molybdenum hexafluorideMoF6+6
molybdenum tetrafluorideMoF4+4
Chloridesmolybdenum dichlorideMoCl2+2
molybdenum trichlorideMoCl3+3
molybdenum hexachlorideMoCl6+6
molybdenum tetrachlorideMoCl4+4
molybdenum pentachlorideMoCl5+5
Bromidesmolybdenum tribromideMoBr3+4
molybdenum tetrabromideMoBr4+4
Iodidesmolybdenum diiodideMoI2+2
molybdenum triiodideMoI3+3
molybdenum tetraiodideMoI4+4
Oxidesmolybdenum oxideMoO+2
molybdenum dioxideMoO2+4Tugarinovite
molybdenum trioxideMoO3+6Molybdite
Mineral Diversity of Molybdenum
1. Elements 1 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 5 valid mineral species
3. Halides1 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 15 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 17 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates7 valid mineral species
Total:46 valid species containing essential Molybdenum
Geochemistry of Molybdenum
Goldschmidt classification:Siderophile
Mo4+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Mo2+ solute can be a limiting nutrient in the growth of bacteria.
Mo6+ solute is a micronutrient on land.
Elemental Abundance for Molybdenum
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.2 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.2 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)1.2 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.000 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)1 x 10-8mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.0 x 10-8mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)2.3 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)2.6 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)2.55 x 10-6 (5.5%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Molybdenum in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Molybdenum and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Molybdenum and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Molybdenum.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Molybdenum% of Mo mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen172 minerals with Mo and O86.87%8.93% higher
Hydrogen121 minerals with Mo and H61.11%9.88% higher
Iron59 minerals with Mo and Fe29.80%36.53% higher
Copper41 minerals with Mo and Cu20.71%58.52% higher
Arsenic38 minerals with Mo and As19.19%57.51% higher
Sulfur33 minerals with Mo and S16.67%19.95% lower
Uranium28 minerals with Mo and U14.14%173.13% higher
Sodium27 minerals with Mo and Na13.64%28.47% lower
Calcium24 minerals with Mo and Ca12.12%50.18% lower
Bismuth21 minerals with Mo and Bi10.61%149.88% higher
Phosphorus19 minerals with Mo and P9.60%17.79% lower
Lead14 minerals with Mo and Pb7.07%30.49% lower
Magnesium14 minerals with Mo and Mg7.07%46.17% lower
Aluminium12 minerals with Mo and Al6.06%69.72% lower
Chlorine9 minerals with Mo and Cl4.55%38.35% lower
Niobium9 minerals with Mo and Nb4.55%54.32% higher
Manganese6 minerals with Mo and Mn3.03%72.49% lower
Potassium6 minerals with Mo and K3.03%67.59% lower
Thorium6 minerals with Mo and Th3.03%324.71% higher
Vanadium5 minerals with Mo and V2.53%43.43% lower
Antimony5 minerals with Mo and Sb2.53%48.50% lower
Tin3 minerals with Mo and Sn1.52%14.62% lower
Rhenium3 minerals with Mo and Re1.52%4,040.91% higher
Tungsten3 minerals with Mo and W1.52%84.04% higher
Tellurium3 minerals with Mo and Te1.52%51.57% lower
Osmium3 minerals with Mo and Os1.52%935.23% higher
Nitrogen3 minerals with Mo and N1.52%29.82% lower
Ruthenium3 minerals with Mo and Ru1.52%590.15% higher
Mercury3 minerals with Mo and Hg1.52%16.35% lower
Iridium3 minerals with Mo and Ir1.52%314.09% higher
Cerium3 minerals with Mo and Ce1.52%48.24% lower
Germanium3 minerals with Mo and Ge1.52%150.96% higher
Selenium3 minerals with Mo and Se1.52%35.30% lower
Nickel3 minerals with Mo and Ni1.52%50.70% lower
Silicon3 minerals with Mo and Si1.52%94.62% lower
Carbon2 minerals with Mo and C1.01%86.95% lower
Barium2 minerals with Mo and Ba1.01%77.83% lower
Chromium1 mineral with Mo and Cr0.51%71.54% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Mo Relative Frequency
Niobium << Molybdenum >> Technetium

Most widespread minerals containing Molybdenum
This list of minerals containing Molybdenum is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Molybdenum mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Molybdenum mineral species
map should go here
2Punta de Su Seinargiu (Su Seinargiu; Su Senargiu), Sarroch, Cagliari metropolitan city (Metropolitan City of Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy12 Mo minerals
5Chuquicamata Mine, Chuquicamata District, Calama, El Loa Province, Antofagasta, Chile11 Mo minerals
6Kyzylsai Mo-U deposit, Chu-Ili Mts, Moiynkum, Jambyl Region, Kazakhstan11 Mo minerals
7Elsmore Tin Mine (Elsmore Tin lodes), Elsmore, Gough Co., New South Wales, Australia8 Mo minerals
8Tsumeb Mine (Tsumcorp Mine), Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia8 Mo minerals

Important ores of Molybdenum
NameFormulaCrystal System

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: April 20, 2019 22:02:54
Go to top of page