Ex parte KETCHAM et al. - Page 6

                Appeal No. 1997-0448                                                                                                     
                Application No. 08/327,980                                                                                               

                about 150E C to form soluble and insoluble molybdenum species, solubilizing the insoluble molybdenum                     

                species by alkaline digestion, separating the soluble molybdenum species from any residual insoluble                     

                contaminants, extracting the molybdenum species from the aqueous media with an organic solvent, and                      

                recovering the molybdenum values from the organic solvent as molybdenum trioxide (brief, pages 3-4;                      

                abstract).  According to the specification, this process allows a greater recovery of higher purity                      

                molybdenum trioxide from low grade molybdenum concentrates containing greater than 5 wt % copper                         

                or greater than 10 wt % of naturally floatable gangue materials, e.g., talc and sericite, than can be                    

                recovered from conventional techniques, e.g., roasting (para. bridging pages 9-10).                                      


                I.  Rejection of claims 1-7 and 10-19 as obvious over Barry in view of Vertes and Chiola                                 

                        Barry describes a process of producing molybdenum trioxide from a molybdenite concentrate                        

                typically comprising in excess of about 80% molybdenum sulfite, about 5 to about 10% silica and less                     
                than 1% of contaminating metals, e.g., copper,  comprising (A) pressure oxidizing an aqueous slurry of3                                                                      

                particulate concentrate at a partial pressure of free oxygen above about 50 psi, preferably from about                   

                300 psi to about 600 psi, and at a temperature of at least about 100E C, preferably from about 150E C                    
                to about 250EC, to substantially convert the molybdenum disulfide to the corresponding oxide;  (B)   4                   

                        3See Barry, col. 2, lines 22-26 and 52-58.                                                                       
                        4See Barry, col. 1, lines 52-70; col. 3, lines 65-68; col. 4, lines 6-40.                                        
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