In 1864, Christian Blomstrand was the first to prepare the pure metal, reducing niobium chloride by heating it in a hydrogen atmosphere.
Naturally occurring niobium is composed of one stable isotope: Nb-93.
Brazil and Canada are the major producers of niobium mineral concentrates and extensive ore reserves are also in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Russia.
Large deposits of niobium have been found associated with carbonatites (carbon-silicate igneous rocks) and as a constituent of pyrochlore.
Niobium (Greek mythology: Niobe, daughter of Tantalus) was discovered by Charles Hatchett in 1801.
Niobium is a transition metal that lies in period 5 of the periodic table, between zirconium and molybdenum.
Hatchett found niobium in columbite ore that was sent to England in the 1750s by John Winthrop, the first governor of Connecticut.
Niobium-containing compounds are relatively rarely encountered by most people, but many are highly toxic and should be handled with care.
Minerals that contain niobium often also contain tantalum.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) officially adopted "niobium" as the name for element 41 in 1950, after 100 years of controversy.
Niobium or columbium (chemical symbol Nb, atomic number 41) is a rare, soft, gray metal.
Rose was unaware of Hatchett's work and gave the element a different name, niobium.