Minerals of the pyrochlore group as niobium-ore

In comparison to other commodities, e.g. gold, niobium-ores are related to a small number of igneous rocks, in particular carbonatites and genetically-related silicate-carbonate rocks.
Within these rocks niobium is segregated principally in oxide minerals such as the pyrochlore-microlite solid solution series (Ca,Na)2(Nb,Ta)2O6(O,OH,F) and niobian perovskite (Ca,Na)(Ti,Nb)O3. At least four other Nb minerals can occur in sufficient quantities to dominate or affect the niobium content of a carbonatite. They include ferrocolumbite FeNb2O6, fersmite (Ca,REE,Na)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2(O,OH,F)6, niocalite Ca4NbSi2O10(O,F), and w√∂hlerite NaCa2(Zr,Nb)Si2O8(O,OH,F). Pyrochlore is the dominant niobium host and the only mineral (more…)

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World-wide Niobium and Tantalum Availability

Niobium is a shiny, white, soft, and ductile metal with superconductive properties. Niobium products are used in a wide variety of applications. The largest end market for HSLA steel is for large diameter steel pipelines for the transmission of natural gas and oil. Price increases in oil and natural gas during the last years have created a new interest in exploration for, and (more…)

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