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Columbite-(Fe)

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Formula:
FeNb
 
2
O
 
6
System:OrthorhombicColour:Black to brownish black
Hardness:6
Member of:Columbite Group
Name:From the ferrum (iron) content and Columbia, for America, the source of the first specimens.


Columbite-(Fe)-Tantalite-(Fe) Series and the Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series.
Formerly known as ferrocolumbite.

Compare also ixiolite.

Classification of Columbite-(Fe)

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/D.18-30
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.DB.35

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
B : With medium-sized cations; chains of edge-sharing octahedra
Dana 8th edition ID:8.3.2.2

8 : MULTIPLE OXIDES CONTAINING NIOBIUM,TANTALUM OR TITANIUM
3 : AB2O6
Hey's CIM Ref.:18.1.42

18 : Niobates and Tantalates
1 : Niobates and tantalates containing neither rare earths nor U
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Type Occurrence of Columbite-(Fe)

Type Locality:Green's Well pegmatite (Green's Tank), Pilgangoora, Wallareenya Station, Port Hedland Shire, Western Australia, Australia
Year of Discovery:1928

Occurrences of Columbite-(Fe)

Geological Setting:Accessory mineral in granitic pegmatites, rarely in carbonatites and as placer deposits.

Physical Properties of Columbite-(Fe)

Lustre:Vitreous, Sub-Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Comment:Commonly tarnishes to iridescent.
Colour:Black to brownish black
Comment:Reddish brown in transmitted light.
Streak:Black to dark brown.
Hardness (Mohs):6
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=652 - 739 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
Distinct on {100}, less distinct on {010}
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):5.2 - 6.65 g/cm3
Density (calculated):5.43 g/cm3

Crystallography of Columbite-(Fe)

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Pbcn
Cell Parameters:a = 14.266(1) Å, b = 5.7321(4) Å, c = 5.0503(4) Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 2.489 : 1 : 0.881
Unit Cell Volume:V 412.98 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Short prismatic or equant also flat tabular
Twinning:Common on {021} and {023}
Comment:Strong subcell has a/3.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Columbite-(Fe)

Type:Biaxial (-)
Dispersion:relatively strong r < v
Colour in reflected light:Grayish white with brownish tint
Internal Reflections:Reddish

Chemical Properties of Columbite-(Fe)

Formula:
FeNb
 
2
O
 
6
Simplified for copy/paste:FeNb2O6
Essential elements:Fe, Nb, O
All elements listed in formula:Fe, Nb, O

Relationship of Columbite-(Fe) to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Columbite-(Mn) (see here)
Forms a series with Tantalite-(Fe) (see here)
Member of:Columbite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Columbite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
Columbite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
Qitianlingite
(Fe,Mn)
 
2
(Nb,Ta)
 
2
WO
 
10
Tantalite-(Fe)
FeTa
 
2
O
 
6
Tantalite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
Tantalite-(Mn)
MnTa
 
2
O
 
6
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.DB.05Argutite
GeO
 
2
4.DB.05Cassiterite
SnO
 
2
4.DB.05Plattnerite
PbO
 
2
4.DB.05Pyrolusite
MnO
 
2
4.DB.05Rutile
TiO
 
2
4.DB.05Tripuhyite
Fe
3+
 
Sb
5+
 
O
 
4
4.DB.05Tugarinovite
MoO
 
2
4.DB.05Varlamoffite
(Sn,Fe)(O,OH)
 
2
4.DB.10Byströmite
MgSb
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.10Tapiolite-(Fe)
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.10Tapiolite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.10Ordoñezite
ZnSb
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.15bAkhtenskite
ε-Mn
4+
 
O
 
2
4.DB.15cNsutite
(Mn
4+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)(O,OH)
 
2
4.DB.15aParamontroseite
V
4+
 
O
 
2
4.DB.15aRamsdellite
Mn
4+
 
O
 
2
4.DB.20Scrutinyite
alpha-PbO
 
2
4.DB.25Ishikawaite
U
4+
 
Fe
2+
 
Nb
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.25Ixiolite
(Ta,Nb,Sn,Fe,Mn)
 
4
O
 
8
4.DB.25Samarskite-(Y)
(Y,Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,U,Th,Ca)
 
2
(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.25Srilankite
ZrTi
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.25Yttrocolumbite-(Y)
Y(U
4+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)Nb
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.25Calciosamarskite
(Ca,Fe
3+
 
,Y)
 
2
(Nb,Ta,Ti)
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.25Samarskite-(Yb)
(Yb,Y,Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,U,Th,Ca)
 
2
(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.30Ferberite
FeWO
 
4
4.DB.30Hübnerite
MnWO
 
4
4.DB.30Sanmartinite
(Zn,Fe)WO
 
4
4.DB.30Krasnoselskite
CoWO
 
4
4.DB.30Heftetjernite
ScTaO
 
4
4.DB.30Huanzalaite
MgWO
 
4
4.DB.35Tantalite-(Fe)
FeTa
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.35Columbite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.35Tantalite-(Mn)
MnTa
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.35Columbite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.35Qitianlingite
(Fe,Mn)
 
2
(Nb,Ta)
 
2
WO
 
10
4.DB.35Magnocolumbite
4.DB.35Tantalite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
4.DB.40Ferrowodginite
FeSnTa
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.40Lithiotantite
Li(Ta,Nb)
 
3
O
 
8
4.DB.40Lithiowodginite
LiTa
 
3
O
 
8
4.DB.40Titanowodginite
MnTiTa
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.40Wodginite
Mn(Sn,Ta)Ta
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.40Ferrotitanowodginite
Fe
2+
 
TiTa
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.40Wolframowodginite
Mn(Mn,Sn,Fe,Ta)(W,Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
8
4.DB.45Tivanite
V
3+
 
TiO
 
3
(OH)
4.DB.50Carmichaelite
(Ti,Cr,Fe)[O
 
2-x
(OH)
 
x
]
4.DB.55Alumotantite
AlTaO
 
4
4.DB.60Biehlite
((Sb,As)O)
 
2
[MoO
 
4
]
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
18.1.1Lithiotantite
Li(Ta,Nb)
 
3
O
 
8
18.1.2Lueshite
NaNbO
 
3
18.1.3Natroniobite
NaNbO
 
3
18.1.4Franconite
Na
 
2
Nb
 
4
O
 
11
· 9H
 
2
O
18.1.5Natrotantite
Na
 
2
Ta
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.6Irtyshite
Na
 
2
(Ta,Nb)
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.7Rankamaite
(Na,K)
 
3
(Ta,Nb,Al)
 
11
(O,OH)
 
31
18.1.8Hydropyrochlore
(H
 
2
O,□)
 
2
Nb
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
(H
 
2
O)
18.1.9Calciotantite
CaTa
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.10Rynersonite
Ca(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.11Microlite Group
18.1.12Belyankinite
Ca
 
1-2
(Ti,Nb)
 
5
O
 
12
· 9H
 
2
O (?)
18.1.13Latrappite
(Ca,Na)(Nb,Ti,Fe)O
 
3
18.1.14Hochelagaite
(Ca,Na,Sr)(Nb,Ti,Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
11
· 8H
 
2
O
18.1.15Bariomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.16Parabariomicrolite
BaTa
 
4
O
 
10
(OH)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
18.1.17Bariopyrochlore (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.18Alumotantite
AlTaO
 
4
18.1.19Simpsonite
Al
 
4
(Ta,Nb)
 
3
O
 
13
(OH,F)
18.1.20Sosedkoite
(K,Na)
 
5
Al
 
2
(Ta,Nb)
 
22
O
 
60
18.1.21Thoreaulite
(Sn
2+
 
,Pb)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.22Stannomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.23Foordite
(Sn,Pb)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.24Changbaiite
PbNb
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.25Plumbopyrochlore (of Skorobogatova et al.)
18.1.26Plumbomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.27Stibiocolumbite
Sb(Nb,Ta)O
 
4
18.1.28Stibiotantalite
Sb(Ta,Nb)O
 
4
18.1.29Natrobistantite
18.1.30Cesplumtantite
(Cs,Na)
 
2
(Pb,Sb
3+
 
)
 
3
Ta
 
8
O
 
24
18.1.31Stibiomicrolite (of Groat et al.)
18.1.32Cesstibtantite
18.1.34Bismutotantalite
Bi(Ta,Nb)O
 
4
18.1.35Bismutomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.36Tantalite-(Mn)
MnTa
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.37Gerasimovskite
(Mn,Ca)(Nb,Ti)
 
5
O
 
12
· 9H
 
2
O
18.1.38Tapiolite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.39Columbite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.40Wodginite
Mn(Sn,Ta)Ta
 
2
O
 
8
18.1.41Ixiolite
(Ta,Nb,Sn,Fe,Mn)
 
4
O
 
8
18.1.43Tantalite-(Fe)
FeTa
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.44Columbite
(Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.45Tantalite
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.46Tapiolite
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.47Tapiolite-(Fe)
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.48Columbite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.50Strüverite
(Ti,Ta,Fe)O
 
2
18.1.51 Staringite
(Fe,Mn)
 
x
(Ta,Nb)
 
2x
Sn
 
6-3x
O
 
12

Other Names for Columbite-(Fe)

Other Languages:
German:Columbit-(Fe)
Ferrocolumbit
Italian:Ferrocolumbite
Japanese:鉄コルンブ石
Russian:Ферроколумбит
Simplified Chinese:铌铁矿
Spanish:Ferrocolumbita
Traditional Chinese:鈮鐵礦

Other Information

Magnetism:Paramagnetic
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:Ore source for niobium.

References for Columbite-(Fe)

Reference List:

- +
American Mineralogist: 80: 613-619.

E. J. Kinast, O. Isnard, J. B. M. da Cunha, M. A. Z. de Vasconcellos and C. A. dos Santos (2011): A new approach for the determination of multiple cation locations and ordering, using the example of natural and heat-treated columbites. J. Appl. Crystallogr. 44, 738-746.

Internet Links for Columbite-(Fe)

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Ferrocolumbite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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    Localities for Columbite-(Fe)

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