Symbol:Nb
Melting point:2,469'C
Electron configuration:[Kr]4d4
Atomic number:41
Atomic mass:92.906380.00002u
Symbol:Ta
Melting Point:3,020'C
Electron Configuration:[Xe]4f145d36s2
Atomic number:73
Atomic mass:180.94790.00002u

Tantalum is important because it combines high ductility and exceptional corrosion resistance with a high melting point. In the pure state tantalum is corrosion resistant to most acids and alkalis. Tantalum alloys are used in chemical plants. These alloys are used in heat transfer equipment's and surgical equipment's. Tantalum folio capacitors are used in electronic circuit .Tantalum alloys are used for steam turbine blade, valves, nozzles, stills, agitators, containers, and pipes in chemical industries. Tantalum alloys are used in electrodes. Tantalum carbide is one of the hardest materials. It is used in making of tools.Niobium is used in stainless steel. It has low neutron absorption capacity .It has a very high melting point. It is useful in nuclear reactors. Niobium provides high tensile strength. It is also resistant to corrosion. It is used for High Strength Low Alloy Steels

The major producers of these metals are South Africa, Canada, China, Nigeria, Zaire, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia and Brazil. Tantalite-Coulumbite occurs as the constituent of granite pegmatite .These minerals are also found as conglomerates and sand deposits near rivers, streams, and other water bodies.

Niobium and Tantalum occur in same type of minerals .The important minerals are Tantalite-Columbite and Pyrochlore. The composition is given as follows:

OreCommon NameFormula
TantaliteTantalite-Columbite[Fe,Mn][Ta,Nb]2O6
TantalitePyrochlore[Na,Ca][Ta,Nb]2O6[O,OH,F]