Ta2O5 + 14 HF → 2 H2[TaF7] + 5 H2O. Introduction
Have you ever pondered the mysteries of the elements that make up our world? Tantalum, a metallic element with a bluish tint and excellent ductility, is one such element that holds a unique place in the world of minerals. From its intriguing name to its global distribution, tantalum has a story that’s as rich and complex as its chemical properties. In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 fascinating facts about tantalum and delve into the world of tantalite, a mineral that’s essential for various industrial applications.
How Tantalum Gets Its Name
In 1802, the Swedish chemist A.G. Ekaberg discovered tantalum while analysing niobium-tantalite ore from Scandinavia. He named the element after Tantalus, the son of Zeus in Greek mythology. The name tantalite, though discredited by the IMA, is still commonly used and often labelled as columbite-tantalite.
The Distribution of Tantalum Resources in the World
Tantalum, as a rare metal, has a relatively small number of resources on Earth. Globally proven tantalum resources are mainly distributed in Australia and Brazil, with Australia accounting for nearly 62% of global tantalum reserves. Other countries like the United States, Canada, and various African nations also have tantalum resources. For a deeper understanding of mineral distributions and their significance, check out our Minrom Mineral Exploration Services It’s also fun to know that Africa is still greatly under-explored.
Global Tantalum Production
According to data released by the US Geological Survey, global tantalum mine production totalled 1,200 tons in 2014. The main producing countries include Rwanda, Brazil, Congo (DRC), and Mozambique, with Rwanda’s production accounting for half of the global production. To learn more about how these resources are mapped and modelled, explore our Minrom Resource Modelling & GIS
The Applications of Tantalum
Tantalum’s high melting point, low vapour pressure, and resistance to corrosion make it valuable in high-tech fields such as electronics – cell phones, metallurgy, and aerospace covering jey engine blades. It’s used in alloys for strength, in glass to increase the index of refraction, and in surgical steel, as it’s non-reactive and non-irritating to body tissues.
The Recycling of Waste Tantalum
With tantalum resources being few and expensive, the use of secondary resources is of special significance. Tantalum recovered from secondary resources accounts for about 15% to 20% of the amount of tantalum raw materials. Various recycling processes have been developed to handle different types of waste materials.
Tantalum’s intriguing history, global distribution, and diverse applications make it a subject of interest for scientists, researchers, and industry experts alike. At Minrom, we’re committed to supporting the exploration and understanding of tantalum and other valuable mineral resources.
– [MineFacts – Exploration](https://www.minefacts.eu/exploration)
– [Wikipedia – Tantalite](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalite)
– [Minerals.net – Tantalite Information](https://www.minerals.net/mineral/tantalite.aspx)
– [ScienceDirect – Topics on Tantalite](https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/tantalite)