Niobium is a strong and silvery metal that is extracted from the mineral columbite. Used in alloys for making parts of jet engines and rockets, niobium is also an essential component in semiconductors. It’s mainly found in abundance in Brazil and Canada, but Chinese geologists have found niobobaotite – a rare earth iron ore with niobium – in the Bayan Obo Mining District in Inner Mongolia.
Niobobaotite, a new key strategic #mineral discovered in N China’s Inner Mongolia, received official recognition and was numbered IMA 2022-127a. Niobobaotite is rich in rare metal #niobium which sees wide application in high-tech sectors such as superconductors and electronics. pic.twitter.com/7kvWg3HCKX
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) October 10, 2023
The niobobaotite ranges in size from 20 to 80 centimeters and contains barium, niobium, titanium, iron, and chlorine. It’s the 13th newly-discovered mineral since the establishment of China’s nuclear geological system 70 years ago, said the geologists in a press release by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).