Molybdenite Solid Mineral In Nigeria And The State Of Deposits

Molybdenite is one of such minerals that are not richly deposited in West Africa such as Nigeria, It can only be found in Plateau state, Nigeria, specifically in Kigom, Jos. Kigom is not only blessed with Molybdenite but also Cassiterite in which some bears layers of gravels.

In the year 1778, the mineral was discovered by a Swedish chemist known as Karl or Carl Wilhelm Scheele and the term Molybdenum was coined from an ancient Greek word “molybdo” which literally means Lead because it was initially confused with the mineral lead and graphite.



Molybdenite Solid mineral deposits in Nigeria


Molybdenite consists of Molybdenum Disulphide (MoS2)and is the main sources (ore) from which molybdenum is extracted. Molybdenum has a chemical element with a symbol of Mo and is located in Group 6 of the periodic table with a melting point of 2,623 °C and a boiling point of 4,639 °C.

In terms of abundance, it is the 54th on the earth's crust and 25th in the oceans. Molybdenite is characterized as a blue-greyish mineral which occurs mostly as hexagonal crystals.


The mining of molybdenite (molybdenum) in Nigeria, Africa and globally can be done using an open-pit or by underground methods, whatever method is used the ore when mined is;

  • Crushed and grounded and the metallic minerals (molybdenum) separated from gangue minerals (copper) by the use of flotation process (froth floatation) and a wide variety of reagents, which oxidizes to form soluble molybdate.

For Molybdenum processing;

  • MoS2 is further been fed into multi-level hearth furnaces from the top against the already heated gases which rise from the bottom in order to convert the molybdenite concentrates into technical molybdic oxide.
  • When the molybdenite concentrates hits the rotary rakes in the hearth furnaces, it moves the concentrates with such a force that will improve the chemical reactions, at this stage, a lime scrubbers or any other desulfurisation systems can be used to separate the sulfur dioxide from the waste gases to obtain at about 55% - 58% molybdenum and about 0.1% of sulphur.

In as much as the mining of molybdenum is limited in Nigeria, there are still quite a few mining operations which have been done after its deposition in Kigom has been made known, and also further researches are being made to find more places with this mineral deposits in Nigeria, West Africa. 


Uses of Molybdenite

  • Molybdenite can be used to blacken a surface or as a solid lubricant.
  • Molybdenum metal is used for fertilizer, as a catalyst, and in battery electrodes.
  • The main ore which is molybdenum is used as an alloy with iron and steel.
  • Molybdenite is used as a semiconductor and as low-voltage transistors due to its good charge carrier mobility.


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