Example – revenue for molybdenum

Generic product activity or name

Molybdenite, (Mo) Atomic number 42, Molybdenum oxide.

Context and background
A substantial part of the world production of Molybdenum is derived as a by-product of the primary copper production. Molybdenum mainly occurs in various oxidation states.

In molybdenite processing (roasting) the process gives gaseous sulfur doxide and the molybdenum oxide:

2 MoS2 + 7 O2 → 2 MoO3 + 4 SO2

Presentation of example
To identify the revenue for the Molybdenum we used the USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries that are updated every year. For this case we have used the data for 2014 and find for the Molybdenum concentrate an output volume of 258.000 metric tons and a price of 22 USD2013/kg, which is the time-weighted average price per kilogram of molybdenum contained in technical-grade molybdic oxide, as reported by Ryan’s Notes (USGS 2014). 

We then calculate the global revenue by multiplying the number of units sold by the price: 2,6 108kg*22 USD2013/kg = 5,7 109 USD2013, using the simple formula: volume of production * price/unit of volume. These data are world averages (in case you are making your own foreground data it is recommended to obtain site-specific data).

Information sources used
The USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries are freely available and provide detailed price-information on a yearly basis, but several other sites exist that provide almost day to day data for prices on Molybdenum oxide (e.g. www.imoa.info, www.infomine.com, www.metalprices.com).

Ecoinvent database (2014) http://www.ecoinvent.ch/, accessed January 1, 2014
USGS (2014) Molybdenum – statistics and information
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/molybdenum/ (accessed September 11. 2015)

Author of this example
Bo Weidema


How to reference this
Weidema B P (2014), Example – revenue for molybdenum. Version: 2015-09-11 www.consequential-lca.org