Stibiotantalite: Gemstones Information

Stibiotantalite is a rare mineral that belongs to the tantalite group, which is composed primarily of tantalum oxide minerals. Its chemical formula is (Sb,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6, indicating its composition of antimony (Sb), iron (Fe), tantalum (Ta), and niobium (Nb) combined with oxygen (O). Stibiotantalite is named after its two primary constituents, antimony (Sb) and tantalum (Ta).

Physical Properties:

Stibiotantalite typically appears as black, opaque crystals or granular masses. Its specific gravity ranges from approximately 6.5 to 7.2, making it relatively heavy. The mineral has a sub-metallic to metallic luster and is often found in association with other tantalum-bearing minerals like tantalite, columbite, and euxenite.


Stibiotantalite is a rare mineral and is primarily found in complex pegmatite deposits associated with granitic rocks. These pegmatites form through the crystallization of magma enriched in certain elements, including tantalum and antimony, under specific geological conditions. Significant occurrences of stibiotantalite have been reported in various countries, including Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, Canada, and the United States.

Geological Significance:

Stibiotantalite, along with other tantalum-bearing minerals, holds significant geological importance due to its association with rare-element pegmatites. These pegmatites often contain economically valuable concentrations of tantalum, which is a critical metal used in various high-tech industries. Tantalum finds applications in electronics, aerospace, medical devices, and energy technologies, making it an essential component in modern society.

Industrial Uses:

The primary commercial interest in stibiotantalite arises from its tantalum content. Tantalum, derived from minerals like stibiotantalite, is highly sought after for its exceptional corrosion resistance, high melting point, and ability to store electrical charge, which makes it indispensable in the production of capacitors, semiconductors, and other electronic components. Additionally, tantalum finds applications in the chemical industry for manufacturing corrosion-resistant equipment and in the production of alloys for specialized applications.

Mining and Extraction:

The mining and extraction of stibiotantalite are often part of broader operations targeting tantalum-bearing minerals. Extracting tantalum from stibiotantalite involves several steps, including crushing the ore, gravity separation to concentrate the tantalum-bearing minerals, and chemical processing to extract tantalum oxide (Ta2O5), which is then further refined into tantalum metal or tantalum-based compounds.

Economic Value:

Stibiotantalite, like other tantalum-bearing minerals, can have significant economic value due to its tantalum content. The price of tantalum is subject to market demand and supply dynamics, as well as geopolitical factors influencing its availability. The value of stibiotantalite can vary widely based on factors such as its purity, the cost of extraction, and prevailing market prices for tantalum. Prices for high-grade tantalum ores have historically ranged from several hundred to over a thousand dollars per kilogram.

Environmental Considerations:

The mining and processing of stibiotantalite, like any mineral extraction activity, can have environmental impacts, including habitat disruption, soil erosion, and the generation of waste materials and pollutants. Responsible mining practices, including proper waste management, reclamation of mined areas, and minimizing the use of harmful chemicals, are essential to mitigate these impacts and ensure sustainable resource utilization.


Stibiotantalite is a valuable mineral primarily due to its tantalum content, which has critical applications in various high-tech industries. Its rarity, coupled with its geological significance, underscores its importance in the context of global mineral resources. However, sustainable extraction practices and environmental stewardship are crucial to balance the economic benefits of mining with environmental conservation and community well-being.

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