The petroleum refining industry makes extensive use of hydroprocessing catalysts. These catalysts contain environmentally critical and economically valuable metals such as Mo, V, Ni and Co. In the present study, a simple hydrometallurgical processing of spent hydrodesulphurization (HDS) catalyst for the recovery of molybdenum using sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide mixture was investigated. Recovery of molybdenum was largely dependent on the concentrations of Na2CO3 and H2O2 in the reaction medium, which in turn controls the pH of leach liquor and the presence of Al and Ni as impurities. Under the optimum leaching conditions (40 g L(-1) Na2CO3, 6 vol.% H2O2, room temperature, 1h) about 85% recovery of Mo was achieved. The leach liquor was processed by the carbon adsorption method, which selectively adsorbs Mo at pH around 0.75. Desorption of Mo was selective at 15 vol.% NH4OH. With a single stage contact, it was found possible to achieve >99%, adsorption and desorption efficiency. Using this method, recovery of molybdenum as MoO3 product of 99.4% purity was achieved.