Established in 1995, Niocan Inc. (“Niocan”) is focused on financing, developing and obtaining permits for its 100%-owned Oka Niobium Project and the Great Whale Iron property. Both projects are located in mining-friendly Quebec.
Properties of niobium
Niobium is a shiny, white, soft and ductile transition metal. When processed, it must be placed in a protective atmosphere at moderate temperatures. There are 18 known isotopes of niobium.
Sources of niobium
Niobium can be isolated from tantalum and prepared several different ways. Niobium is found in niobite (or columbite), pyrochlore, niobite-tantalite and euxenite. As a constituent of pyrochlore, large amounts of niobium have been found associated with carbonatites (carbon-silicate rocks). Extensive mineral deposits are found in Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, Zaire and Russia.
Uses of niobium
Niobium has superconductive properties and it has been useful in making superconductive magnets in the form of niobium-zirconium (Nb-Zr) wire, which retains its superconductivity in strong magnetic fields. Thousands of pounds of niobium have been used in air frame systems, including in the Gemini space program. Niobium is also commonly used in making jewelry.