About the element

Molybdenum is a silvery-white metal that is ductile and highly resistant to corrosion. It has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements — only the elements tantalum and tungsten have higher melting points. Molybdenum is also a micronutrient essential for life.


Key facts

  • Symbol: Mo
  • Atomic number: 42
  • Atomic mass: 95.95 u
  • Melting point: 2,623 °C


Most of the targeted by-products elements are Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply.

Molybdenum is not part of the EU 2020 Critical Raw Materials List. Its criticality is considered to be medium.

Main uses

Engineering steel & stainless steel: molybdenum increases the resistance to corrosion and strength, and wear at higher temperatures. This includes applications in tanks and piping in food handling and processing, pulp and paper mills, ocean tankers, desalination plants, in automobile engines and pharmaceuticals.

Chemicals: molybdenum is used in catalysts for petroleum refineries and plastics industries. Molybdenite is used as an additive in greases, friction materials, inks for circuit boards, pigments and electrodes.

And also: in various alloys with applications in high-temperature heating elements, glass melting, furnace electrodes, jet engines turbochargers, power generation turbines, the petroleum industry, etc.

Map of kernel density of weighted Molybdenum scores in Europe by DBQ geostatistical method

The map below indicates few areas of potential interest for Molybdenum prospection in Europe. It is part of the “Mapping of by-product potential evaluation” (Deliverable 2.1) led by consortium member BRGM.

This map was made based on the current available data and the DBQ geostatistical method, performing a kernel density calculation. The kernel density calculation is a statistical tool which estimates the probability density function of a random variable.