Sarfartoq Niobium and Tantalum Project

Niobium and Tantalum

 

 

Niobium and Tantalum are transition elements that are almost always found together in nature. They are vital to a wide range of products in the energy, infrastructure, transportation, medical and defense sectors. US has designated niobium and tantalum as critical to the security and wellbeing of the country.

The Sarfartoq niobium project has highly elevated levels of niobium and tantalum. The niobium is hosted in pyrochlore mineralization which is a niobium and tantalum oxide with approximately 1% uranium oxides. Project highlights include:

  • Historical drill intercepts by the previous license holders included:

3m @26.49% Nb2O5

20m @12.13% Nb2O5

Trench assays of 14.4% Nb2O5 over 200 meters

  • Hudson surface sampling included assays up to 40.32% Nb2O5 and 0.91% Ta2O5 (see NR2009-03)

 

Industry Facts

  • There are only 3 primary producers in the world:CBMM(private) – Brazil: Grade 2.5% Nb2O5, controls 85% of the market.

    China Molybdenum (CMOC) – Brazil: Grade 1% Nb2O5.

    Magris, formerly Niobec (private) – Canada: Grade 0.56% Nb2O5.

  • Annual demand is between 90,000 and 100,000t FeNb per year.
  • Nb price (per Kg contained in FeNb) has averaged around US$41.50 for the last five years.
  • Growth of approximately 8%/annum.

 

Niobium

  • 75% of niobium is used as an alloy in high strength steel.
  • It is one of the most powerful superconducting metals.
  • Adding 200g of Nb can reduce car weight by 100kg.
  • The addition of 0.02% (200g) Nb to a tonne of steel can increase its strength by up to 30%.
  • Approximately 90% of Niobium goes into steel production to make High Strength Low-Alloy Steel (HSLA).  50% of steel in a car is HSLA now.
  • Can reduce the amount of steel in a building by more than 20%.
  • Adding Nb allows gas pipelines to take 2.5 times the pressure.  Adds corrosion and temp resistance.
  • Application in the development of more efficient lithium ion batteries
  • Enabling technology in smart windows.

Tantalum

  • Excellent capacity to store and release energy.
  • Corrosion resistant.
  • Used in the electronics industry in manufacturing capacitors.
  • Applications in medical devices, superalloys.
  • Its hardness makes it ideal for cutting tools.