Molybdenum comes mostly from mines in the United States, Chile, China, Canada and Mexico, in addition to mines in Peru, Armenia, Iran and the Russian Commonwealth. Though it is found in many places around the world, only these countries that have a concentration economical enough to warrant mining it.
Molybdenum is obtained via primary or byproduct mines. The Climax Molybdenum Company has to process more than 2,000 pounds of ore at its Colorado primary mines to recover 4 to 6 pounds of molybdenum. Molybdenum can also be recovered from other mining operations, such as from the Sierrita and Bagdad copper mines in Arizona.