Ontario Mineral - Molybdenite

Rocks minerals Ontario Molybdenite

MoS2, Molybdenum Sulfide
Sulfides and Sulfosalts
major ore of molybdenum and as mineral specimens
silver metallic with a bluish cast
crystals are opaque
Crystal System:
hexagonal; 6/m2/m2/m
Crystal Habits:
thin, platy hexagonal crystals terminated by pinacoidal faces, also as tapering six-sided pyramids that can be truncated by the pinacoids. Also massive, lamellar and in small grains in sulfide ore bodies and recrystallized marbles.
perfect in one direction, forming thin sheets
1.5 - 2.
Specific Gravity:
4.7 to 4.8 (average for metallic minerals)
bluish gray
Other Characteristics:
thin cleavage sheets and crystals are flexible, but not elastic. It has a greasy feel and leaves marks on fingers.
Associated Minerals:
include pyrite, wolframite, chalcopyrite, quartz, fluorite, and scheelite.
Local Occurance:
Cancrinite Hill, Desmont Mine, Faraday Hill, Grace Lake Roadcut, Lily Robertson
Best Field Indicators:
crystal habit, softness, cleavage, density, bluish streak and color.


Molybdenite is a very soft metallic mineral. It can be easily confused with graphite, but not with many other minerals. Graphite has a darker black-silver color and a black-gray to brown-gray streak, whereas molybdenite has a bluish-silver color and streak. Unfortunately, the difference is so slight that it is recommended that the two minerals be seen side by side. Their respective streaks should also be observed side by side to appreciate the differences. If larger samples, free of host rock, are available, then the greater density of molybdenite can be used for identification.
Molybdenite's structure is composed of molybdenum ions sandwiched between layers of sulfur ions. The sulfur's layers are strongly bonded to the molybdenum, but are not strongly bonded to other sulfur layers, hence the softness and perfect cleavage. It is soft enough to leave a mark on paper and fingers. Its greasy feel is due to its extreme softness. Molybdenite or "Moly Ore" as it is sometimes called, is a very high luster mineral and can be an interesting mineral to add to a collection.