Letter | Published:

Pyrochlore Minerals as a Potential Source of Reactor-grade Niobium



FOR many years the chief source of niobium has been the mineral ‘columbite’, a member of the columbite–tantalite series (Fe, Mn) (Nb Ta)2O6. As the name of the series implies, niobium (columbium) and tantalum occur in varying ratios, but even at the columbite end the proportion of tantalum is still appreciable, the ratio of niobium to tantalum being generally of the order of only 6 : 1.

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