Molybdenum is produced either from primary mines, where it is the principal mineral, or from by-product mines where it is recovered from copper mining activities. The latter source of supply has not increased significantly in recent years because of production limitations. However, increased demand for copper will make more by-product molybdenum available to the market. In addition, many companies are actively developing potential new molybdenum mines and some could start producing as early as 1981.
In the eighties, molybdenum demand is expected to remain strong because of the need for improved materials for energy generation, fuel production, manufacture of fuel efficient vehicles and other industrial applications.