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Mineralpedia Details for Molybdenite

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Molybdenite

Molybdenite

Named for the molybdenum content which in turn derives its name from the Greek word molybdos, meaning “lead,” in allusion to its lead-like color and metallic luster. Molybdeinte is a common, widespread mineral and is the most abundant molybdenum-bearing mineral that occurs as excellent crystals in localities in the United States, Canada, Norway, Russia, Germany, Morocco, Australia, and Japan. It occurs on the rare occasion in meteorites, but more commonly in contact metamorphosed limestone, pegmatites, granites, aplites, disseminated prophry deposits that sometimes are associated with major copper mineralization, and in high-temperature hydrothermal vein deposits. Molybdenite has a notably greasy feel to it.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/molybdenite.pdf

Formula
MoS2 
Crystal System
Hexagonal 
Crystal Habit
Foliated, Massive, Disseminated 
Cleavage
Perfect, None, None 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
black, lead gray, gray 
Streak
greenish gray 
Class
Hexagonal - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Sectile 
Hardness
WebMineral
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Mindat
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Molybdenite from Emke mine, Ogonja, Windhoek dist., Namibia

Molybdenite
            from Emke mine, Ogonja, Windhoek dist., Namibia

A 9mm complete crystal perched on Calcite matrix.

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Molybdenite from Los Chicharones prospect, Sinaloa, Mexico

Molybdenite
            from Los Chicharones prospect, Sinaloa, Mexico

 This specimen shows good colloform habit of Quartz veins lined with flakes of Molybdenite and Pyrite.

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Molybdenite from Nunatak prospect at Muir Inlet, Juneau dist., Alaska

Molybdenite
            from Nunatak prospect at Muir Inlet, Juneau dist., Alaska

The Nunatak Molybdenum deposit consists of stockworks of quartz-molybdenite veins in skarn forming a large low-grade molybdenum deposit. The deposit was discovered and staked in 1941. The molybdenum mineralization consists mostly of closely-spaced quartz veins containing rosettes of Molybdenite crystal much like this specimen. The rosettes on this specimen are to 2cm across.

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Molybdenite from Goat Creek, Sanders Co., Montana, United States

Molybdenite
            from Goat Creek, Sanders Co., Montana, United States

An interval of diamond drill hole #1: at 182 ft, 334 ft, and 418 ft. I believe these splits represent one of the ten holes drilled by Noranda in 1974 after discovery in 1967. Goat Creek is a large, deep low grade Molybdenum deposit with skarn mineralization, including tungsten. Mineralization was in the Belt strata of the Wallace Formation and within a highly differentiated, non-outcropping Tertiary pluton (J. E. Worthington of the Idaho Geological Survey). The core shows good mineralization of Molybdenite and Pyrite in Quartz veining.

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Molybdenite from Bear Meadow Adit, Quartz Hill deposit, Ketchikan district, Alaska, United States

Molybdenite
            from Bear Meadow Adit, Quartz Hill deposit, Ketchikan district, Alaska, United States

A chunk of ore from this huge Molybdenum deposit showing excellent thin veinlets of Molybdenite in stockwork style mineralization. There is a wealth of information on this deposit, which was discovered in 1974.

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Molybdenite from Chuquicamata mine, El Loa Prov., Antofagasta, Chile

Molybdenite
            from Chuquicamata mine, El Loa Prov., Antofagasta, Chile

A large specimen of vein Molybdenite 2cm thick on Quartz matrix.

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Molybdenite from Endako mine, Francois Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Molybdenite
            from Endako mine, Francois Lake, British Columbia, Canada

This is a good representation of the chief ore of molybdenum. It is silvery metallic with a tinge of blue and weighs about 16 oz. Veins can be seen in the sample from 1-20mm.

Because of it's high melting point (2,620 deg. C), it is used primarily in metallurgical applications for harding steel as well as lubricant, petroleum refining, flame retardents, and in the glass and ceramics industries.

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Molybdenite from Northwest Tungsten mine, Calaveras Co., California, United States

Molybdenite
            from Northwest Tungsten mine, Calaveras Co., California, United States

Molybdenite with a good crystal to 1.5cm in a pocket of Quartz and Epidote.

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Molybdenite from Morenci mine, Greenlee Co., Arizona, United States

Molybdenite
            from Morenci mine, Greenlee Co., Arizona, United States

Simply, an ore specimen with flashy soft radial crystals and masses of Molybdenite in a Quartz vein. 

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