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Iron Ore 101

Written by Saturday, 01 June 2013 20:25

Iron ore yields metallic iron (Fe) when heated in the presence of a reducing agent such as coke. Iron ore usually consists of iron oxides and carbonates.

Its most important mineral forms are magnetite (Fe3O4, 72.4% Fe), hematite (Fe2O3, 69.9% Fe) and siderite (FeCO3, 48.29% Fe). In about 1670, deposits of bog iron were found near Trois-Rivières, Qué, and by the 1740s LES FORGES SAINT-MAURICE was producing top-quality cast iron stoves, pots, kettles, bullets and cannons. There are iron ore producers in Newfoundland, Québec and BC.

Canada produces approximately 35 million tonnes of iron ore annually.

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Written by Friday, 31 May 2013 12:05

Ferroniobium is produced through electric-furnace aluminothermy using pyrochlore concentrate or technical niobium pentoxide. It is used in the smelting of structural steel and heatresistant alloys.

A silvery, soft, ductile metallic element that occurs chiefly in columbite-tantalite and is used in steel alloys, arc welding, and superconductivity research.

Iron Ore
A mineral from which iron can be extracted that contrains metal that is valuable enough to be mined.

A very hard, heavy, gray metallic element that is exceptionally resistant to chemical attack below 150°C. It is used to make light-bulb filaments, electrolytic capacitors, lightning arresters, nuclear reactor parts, and some surgical instruments.

A bright white, soft, ductile metallic element found in several minerals, notably vanadinite and carnotite, having good structural strength and used in rust-resistant high-speed tools, as a carbon stabilizer in some steels, as a titanium-steel bonding agent, and as a catalyst.

Oka (Cayuga: Ganehsada:geh [4]) is a Canadian village on the northern bank of the Ottawa River (Rivière des Outaouais in French), northwest of Montreal, Quebec. Located in the Lower Laurentians on Lake of Two Mountains, the main thoroughfare through town is Quebec Route 344. It was originally settled by Europeans in 1721 by the Sulpician Order branch of the Roman Catholic Church. 






Niobium 101

Written by Friday, 31 May 2013 11:59

A highly stable oxide forms on the surface of niobium when it is exposed to air. In Quebec, the host mineral of niobium is pyrochlore, by far the main source of the niobium currently produced in the world. It also combines easily with alloys, and becomes a superconductor at temperatures certain temperature.

Niobium is generally consumed in one of three forms

  • Ferroniobium
  • Niobium pentoxide
  • Niobium alloys


The steel industry consumes nearly 90% of these products, mostly in the form of ferroniobium. Ferroniobium is primarily used in high strength, low-alloy steel and stainless steel. High strength steel alloys containing niobium are generally used in the construction, pipeline and automotive industries. Stainless steel containing niobium is mostly used in automobile exhaust manifolds, pressure vessels and firewalls. Other niobium products are used in super alloys found in the aerospace industry, superconductors that find their main commercial application in magnetic resonance imaging, and non-metallic products such as optic glass and ceramic capacitors, among other things.

Niobium Production in Quebec
In Quebec, the Niobec mine in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean produces niobium in the form of ferroniobium. Canada is the second largest niobium producer in the world after Brazil, generating 3,300 tonnes of niobium contained in ferroniobium.

Excerpts from the US Geological Survey Minerals Yearbook 1999

“Columbium” and “niobium” are synonymous names for the chemical element with atomic number 41; “columbium" was the name given in 1801, and “niobium” was the name officially designated by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in 1950. The metal conducts heat and electricity well and is characterized by a high melting point (about 2,470C), resistance to corrosion, and ease of fabrication.

Niobium is produced from the pyrochlore concentrate, niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5), extracted from open pit and110630 b80te niobium-minerai sn635 underground mines. The concentrate is the converted to ferroniobium. Ferroniobium is used worldwide, mostly as an alloying element in steels and in super alloys. Because of its refractory nature, appreciable amounts of niobium in the form of high-purity ferroniobium and nickel niobium are used in nickel-, cobalt-, and ironbase super alloys for such applications as jet engine components, rocket subassemblies, and heat resisting and combustion equipment. Niobium carbide is used in cemented carbides to modify the properties of the cobalt-bonded tungsten carbide-based material. It is usually used with carbides of such metals as tantalum and titanium. Niobium oxide is the intermediate product used in the manufacture of high-purity ferroniobium, nickel niobium, niobium metal, and niobium carbide. Acceptable substitutes, such as molybdenum, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, and vanadium, are available for some niobium applications, but substitution may lower performance and/or cost-effectiveness.

Other article on Niobium