A black mineral, typically occurring as dense, tabular crystals, consisting of an oxide of iron, manganese, niobium, and tantalum. It is the chief ore of niobium.
- The abundance of these elements in the parental magma leads to the formation of less-common minerals such as apatite, beryl, topaz, amblygonite, lepidolite, spodumene tantalite, columbite, monazite, zircon, and uraninite.
- It occurs most commonly in the minerals columbite, tantalite, and microlite.
- These minerals are columbite, microlite, futile, thorite, and zircon.
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