New Uses for Molybdenum Sought

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With the price for molybdenum up to about $33/lb from $5/lb in 2004 and more importantly holding firm in the face of a general slide in metals prices over the year, one has to ask why the CIMAT feel the need to offer incentives to boost demand? CIMAT ” The Centre for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research in Materials, based in Santiago, Chile, launched a challenge in March to global scientists to come up with proposals to boost demand in the shortest possible time.

Apparently some 300 researchers responded in 32 countries with 96 proposals from which 10-20% will be short-listed for further appraisal. Winners will receive annual grants of $100,000 to develop ideas. One has to hope their ideas don’t require any volume production to establish their worthiness. At current prices, the prize money will only buy them 1.5 tons, unless of course word gets out and the price increases further! Seriously, though the idea sounds like something dreamt up by the Molybdenum Producers Association, the result may be some interesting new ideas for industry. CIMAT director Fernando Lund is quoted as saying that some of the most interesting ideas exploit molybdenum’s unique characteristic in combining with other metals than steel.

The winners will be announced in December and MetalMiner will endeavour to bring you the news first.

–Stuart Burns

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