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Sarissa Resources Analysis
Sarissa Resources Inc. Sarissa Resources, Inc. (Symbol SRSR) is junior exploration company exploring for mineral assets in Ontario. Sarissa's current exploration activities are focused on conducting an advanced exploration/confirmation program on its wholly-owned Nemegosenda Niobium property in Chapleau, Ontario. Sarissa’s Shining Tree Resources Corp. subsidiary is also exploring a gold property in the Shining Tree area. Ontario is an area that combines vast regions of high mineral potential with comprehensive mining laws providing secure land tenure. In addition, through the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, a world-class geoscience data infrastructure is available to assist in the identification of significant exploration opportunities.
Sarissa's corporate goal is to build a strong, mineral based company with projects that can be characterized as world-class in status, and with the potential for near-term production.
About Sarissa Sarissa Resources, Inc. is currently focused on the development of the Nemegosenda niobium project. Sarissa Resources is conducting an exploration/confirmation program on its wholly-owned Nemegosenda Niobium property in Chapleau, Ontario. Considerable historic work has been done on the property, including extensive drilling and metalurgical testing. An ore body containing 20 million tons of 0.47% Nb2O5 material (non-NI 43-101-compliant) wasdefined in the Hawke Zone (formerly called 'D Zone') through work by Dominion Gulf. A second area, the SE Zone, was discovered and found to also contain niobium and other rare earth elements. As well, considerable metallurgical testing using ore from an adit was also performed, which culminated in a pilot plant operation. At least three known patented processes of extraction were developed before the project was abandoned by Chevron after its acquisition of Dominion Gulf.
The primary focus of management in the near to medium term is to advance development on the property by completing an updated NI compliant resource estimate on the D-Zone, and by completing a spinout and listing of its subsidiary Nio-Star Corp. property. It is anticipated that this restructuring will put the company in a better position to continue its advanced exploration program for the property. An updated resource calculation is currently being prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA), and Hatch Engineering is working on an updated metallurgical study for the property. RPA will then complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA).
Why Niobium?Used primarily as an alloy to produce High Strength Low Alloy steel ( HSLA).Annual demand growing at 5-7% and expected to continue.Chinese demand for niobium is expected to intensify as it increases HSLA use to match that of other developed nations.Emerging uses for niobium continue to be discovered and are likely to ensure a burgeoning demand.For automobiles, a 100kg weight reduction from the addition of just $9 of niobium increases the vehicle fuel efficiency by 5%.For construction projects like the Millau Viaduct in France, steel containing just .25% niobium enabled the project to achieve a 60% weight reduction in the steel and concrete used.Niobium steels increase pipeline performance and project safety, all at reduced costs.Superconducting Niobium loops form the basis of the quantum transistor SQUID’s used in D-Wave’s quantum hardware.Niobium-titanium and Niobium tin superconducting magnets are used in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and CERN’s SMC. Niobium tin will be used for the central solenoid and toroidal field magnets for the planned ITER fusion reactor.Niobium Nanowire Yarns have emerging applications for use as artificial muscles that are strong, pliable and more conductive than carbon nanotube yarns.
Why new supply is neededRoughly 85% of all production comes from one mine in Brazil, and there are currently only 3 global producers of niobium in the world. Steel company customers want a diversity of supply.CbMM and Anglo have completed planned expansions to their Araxa and Catalao projects, respectively. Magris Resources Niobec (formerly owned by IAMGold) produced 8,400 tons in 2014, but has only 8 years mine life left and recently announced that it would abandon its planned expansion.Anticipated demand by end of this decade is expected to exceed production capability and does not appear to be met with the planned expanstions by Catalao and Araxa alone.This means new sources of production are needed.
Both the D-Zone and SE-Zone ore bodies are located at or near surface and are amenable to an open pit mining operation. This will result in a lower CAPEX and higher IRR potential than a similarly sized underground project.Both ore bodies are open to depth and only the first 180-200 meters has been drilled. There remains considerable potential for the overall size of the resource to increase significantly from the known figures.The drilled areas represent only 20% the property, and there remains the potential for new zones to be discovered.Historical pilot stage test work demonstrates at least 3 known processes for economically extracting niobium from the Nemegosenda property. “Development work followed two variants of an extractive chlorination scheme; catalyzed chlorination and phosgenation processes. The phosgenation process was taken through the pilot plant stage, however, the plant configuration is similar for both process.”“Both processes are demonstrably operable and appear capable of producing high purity niobium metal powder for a total cost of less than $13 / kg at a 1000 tpy (ibid.)"“Approximately 1,000 tons of mineralized material was mined from the D Zone, of which 40 tons were shipped for metallurgical pilot plant testing.”“The results of the test yielded 90% recovery of niobium."Support for the project from the local community and First Nations.The project is in Ontario where there are comprehensive mining laws providing secure land tenure.Next Steps:
The Company is working to expand the membership on the Board of Directors of Nio-Star through the addition of additional members who possess proven mining, capital markets and operating experience that will accelerate Nio-Star's growth and development.Nio-Star will use its current NI report in connection with a prospectus that would soon be filed with the Ontario Securities Commission.Nio-Star would become a reporting issuer in Ontario, and the Company anticipates that its shares of Nio-Star would be spun-out to those shareholders of Sarissa who are shareholders of record as of a 'Record Date' that will be announced.The Company is focusing its energies to complete the work requested by RPA Associates to finalize a resource estimate on the Nemegosenda project. The Company anticipates that this work will be completed in the near future, after which preparation of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) would be undertaken.Along with this the Metallurgy Study from Hatch Engineering will also be completed.We view these reports from RPA and Hatch as the cornerstone for bringing in the next stage of project financing.
Sarissa Files 43-101 Technical Report and Provides Update on DevelopmentsOAKVILLE, Ontario, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sarissa Resources Inc. ("Sarissa" [OTCPK: SRSR], or the "Company") is pleased to report that it has filed a technical report prepared under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") prepared by Patrick Chance, P.Eng., dated April 23, 2015 and titled "Nemegosenda Lake Niobium Property, Chewett, Collins and McGee Townships, Porcupine Mining Division, Ontario, Canada - a NI 43-101 Compliant Technical Report ("Technical Report"). The Report is available on www.sedar.com and here.
The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Nio-Star Corp. ("Nio-Star"), is receiving an equivalent report. The Company anticipates that Nio-Star will use its report in connection with a prospectus that would soon be filed with the Ontario Securities Commission. Assuming the Ontario Securities Commission grants a receipt for this prospectus, Nio-Star would become a reporting issuer in Ontario, and the Company anticipates that its shares of Nio-Star would be spun-out to those shareholders of Sarissa who are shareholders of record as of a 'Record Date' that will be announced.
In addition, the Company is working to expand the membership on the Board of Directors of Nio-Star through the addition of additional members who possess proven mining, capital markets and operating experience that will accelerate Nio-Star's growth and development. Sarissa expects to release details on these developments in the very near future.
Finally, the Company is focusing its energies to complete the work requested by RPA Associates to finalize a resource estimate on the Nemegosenda project. The Company anticipates that this work will be completed in the near future, after which preparation of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) would be undertaken.
"Things are beginning to accelerate for Sarissa and Nio-Star, which is now rapidly moving along its development path. This is the first of several announcements regarding the achievement of significant milestones that will be forthcoming over the next several weeks," according to Sarissa CEO Scott Keevil.
"Receiving the completed 43-101 Technical Report allows the Company to accelerate the measures it has undertaken towards achieving our ultimate goals, namely: the upcoming expansion of the Board of Directors of Nio-Star, Nio-Star becoming a public company inCanada, the spin-out of Nio-Star to Sarissa's shareholders, the completion of a 'resource' calculation that is presently being prepared by RPA Associates for the Nemegosenda niobium property, and the preparation and completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment on that property. As these goals are met, we are confident that Nio-Star and the Nemegosenda niobium project will be transformed. We are excited to let the mining world and the investor community know about the potential of Nio-Star's Nemegosenda niobium property and its unique surface deposit," said Dan Byrnes, President of Sarissa Resources.
Sarissa Resources Inc. Shareholder LetterOAKVILLE, Ontario, Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
When I joined the Sarissa Resources Inc. [SRSR:OTCPK], management team in September I presented a phased plan to move the Company's Nemegosenda Niobium property forward by completing 3 main milestones. Those milestones were: first an independent consulting report incorporating the historical results of Dominion Gulf into a NI 43-101 compliant inferred category of resource (as a minimum), and possibly higher categories of indicated and measured. The second milestone was a separate listing of the Nio-Star subsidiary and a spinout of Nio-Star shares to existing Sarissa Resources Inc. shareholders. The third milestone is a completed Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"). A PEA will determine the economic potential of the Nemegosenda property. At the time I laid out the steps the company would take to reach these three milestones as well as promising to be transparent and communicative with shareholders along the way.
The Nemegosenda property is an exceptional one. It was extensively explored by Dominion Gulf and resulted in a report "An Analysis of Process and Economics" By BJ Lerner. The property was subsequently explored further by Musto Explorations and presently by Sarissa Resources Inc. The property has also seen significant mention in the Ontario Geological Survey and other publications. All of the Dominion Gulf exploration work was completed prior to the implementation of the National Instrument (NI) 43-101 standards in Canada. This disclosure standard was originally implemented as protection for investors in mineral exploration and mining projects in Canada and has now become a recognized disclosure standard for mining globally. Moving the Nemegosenda's Niobium project into compliance with the NI 43-101 standard has been the primary focus of the Company's work plan since September.
In the past year the Company drilled 4 additional holes, completed assay work on those holes, evaluated several existing Dominion Gulf drill cores, performed gyroscopic down hole surveys on Sarissa D-Zone holes and worked closely with Roscoe Postle and Associates ("RPA") to begin modeling of the Niobium deposit r to provide an updated NI-43 101 resource estimate for the Nemegosenda property D Zone. Having a compliant resource estimate has two significant benefits: (i) it allows us to show potential next stage financiers (be they mining companies, private equity funders, end users or other potential joint venture partners) that a significant niobium resources exists at the Nemegosenda property; and (ii) an updated NI-43 101 resource estimate will greatly expedite our listing applications.
Through the results of this work we discovered new information that positively supplemented our existing knowledge of the property. The work completed in the past year correlates highly with Dominion Gulf's work and provides further confidence that their body of work could be incorporated into an updated NI 43-101 resource estimate. Some of our work on historical Dominion Gulf drill core was not as conclusive as we had hoped. Through inspection of the historical drill cores that had been made available to us by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines it was determined that there were significant missing intervals making the core from these historical holes unsuitable for verification sampling. Subsequently it was determined that additional verification drilling would be necessary and resulted in the drilling of a 4th hole (DDH 14-86), during which the historical collar location for Dominion Gulf hole DDH 55-10 was located. Locating this collar was significant in that the Company is now able to provide highly accurate collar locations for all historical Dominion Gulf drill holes within the D Zone, which in turn allows the Company to more precisely drill verification holes. Management anticipates that the ultimate benefit of this development for shareholders will be to provide a higher NI 43-101 compliant resource categorization (i.e. Indicated reserves as opposed to inferred) for RPA's D Zone resource estimate and PEA.
Due to the extra drilling, timetable changes are required and the Company has decided to slightly alter its plan of attack to deliver the milestones mentioned above and continue our rapid development of the Nemegosenda project. The company has engaged the author (an Independent Qualified Person) of the previous Technical Report to update it with the additional work the company has completed since that time, with the primary goal of having an updated report for our listing application for Nio-Star. During this time we will continue to work with RPA on the updated Resource Estimate, and our legal counsel will work with the auditors of Nio-Star Corp. to complete a preliminary prospectus and engage in the process of having that prospectus finalized and given a receipt by the Ontario Securities Commission. In parallel, Nio-Star Corp. would apply for a listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). The CSE was chosen for several reasons. The CSE is an up and coming exchange and has a regulatory model and environment that is more similar to US based exchanges. The cost and time required to get listed is shorter and less expensive. When talking to other mining company executives, potential financing groups and other industry participants we only received positive comments that this was the best option for us at this time.
Additionally work has already begun on the spinout of Nio-Star Corp. shares. Nio-Star Corp. is currently a subsidiary of Sarissa Resources Inc., and it owns the Nemegosenda niobium property. Nio-Star is planning to issue to Sarissa Resources Inc., 31,666,667 shares. This is being done in connection with the plan to distribute the shares of Nio-Star to the shareholders of Sarissa Resources Inc. as a dividend. The distribution would be made to those parties who are shareholders of record of Sarissa Resources Inc. on a record date that would occur (and will be announced) at a future date, prior to Nio-Star Corp. becoming a separate reporting issuer (i.e. a public company) in Canada. This record date is expected to be announced in conjunction with the prospectus completion.
Lastly, we are continuing with the work with RPA to complete their updated Resource Estimate and subsequent PEA. Along with this the Metallurgy Study from Hatch Engineering will also be completed. We view these reports from RPA and Hatch as the cornerstone for bringing in the next stage of project financing. Management is expecting that the initial D Zone resource estimate prepared by RPA for the Nemegosenda Project will include both inferred and indicated resources with great potential for resource expansion through future drilling in the D Zone, the SE Zone, and other prospective targets along the 14 kilometer circumference of the Nemegosenda alkaline complex.
In closing it is important for shareholders to understand that the project continues to move forward. The management team of Sarissa Resources Inc., and its Nio-Star subsidiary are planning, reacting and adapting its approach in order to achieve our stated goals and unlock the vast economic potential this project has for our shareholders. Our management team is also working diligently to be transparent and communicative about any new project or corporate developments. The capital for this work has been secured and any additional funding requirements necessary for the completion of the Phase 1 milestones can be accessed as needed.
We are excited about the future of the Nemegosenda Niobium project and the opportunities that lay ahead of us.
If you have any questions regarding this update or other information about Sarissa Resources Inc., and its Nio-Star subsidiary please contact me at ir@NioStar.com.
Daniel M. Byrnes
President and Interim CFO
MANAGEMENTScott Keevil, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and DirectorScott Keevil has been involved in the mineral exploration industry for over 30 years. In his previous positions he has worked on the exploration side for the most part in Canada and Indonesia.
Daniel Byrnes, President, Interim Chief Financial Officer and DirectorMr. Byrnes has over 25 years of senior management and investment experience primarily in alternative investments, specifically, quantitative modeling, risk management and trading of global markets including: commodities, stock indices, currencies, precious and base metals as well as energy. In addition, Mr. Byrnes has provided business consulting services to a wide range of companies and industries, from small start-ups to established business as well as Government Agencies. Mr. Byrnes was the President and a founding partner of Fort Orange Capital Management an alternative investment asset management company from 1996-2010. Prior to Fort Orange, Mr. Byrnes was vice-president and head trader of CCA Capital Management, an alternative investment asset management company from 1987-1996 Mr. Byrnes was named Futures Magazine, “Top Traders” in 2005 and 2006. Mr. Byrnes received his BA in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1987.
Cam Cheriton, DirectorDr. Cheriton, Ph.D., currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the company. Dr. Cheriton has over 50 years of experience in the mining industry, working for companies including: Atapa Minerals, Consolidated Mining Company of Canada, Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Texas Gulf Sulphur, the Conwest Exploration Company, and the Geological Survey of Canada. Dr. Cheriton studied at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard University where he completed a Ph.D. in Economic Geology. Dr. Cheriton is a registered Professional Engineer of the Province of Ontario and is a “qualified person” within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. Dr. Cheriton is directly responsible for the discovery of a number of ore deposits; one of note is the Caribou Mine in New Brunswick, Canada.
Current DataShare Structure
Legal Counsel Ormston List Frawley
40 University Avenue
Toronto, ONT, M5J 1T1
Transfer Agent ThrasherWorth LLC
Five Concourse Parkway,
Atlanta, GA, 30328
OTC Disclosure & News Service
Table of Contents 1. Property Overview 2. Regional Geology 3. Property Geology 4. Exploration History 5. Current Exploration
The Nemegosenda property comprises approximately 9000 acres (1800 patented, and an additional 7200 acres staked later in 2008-2010) in Northern Ontario. The property is located approximately 40 km from Chapleau and 160 km from Timmins, Ontario. Access is granted via lumber and gravel roads, and it is situated 8 kilometers north of Highway 101. The property consists of approximately 9,000 acres of patented and unpatented mining claims.
Initial interest in the property occurred when the Dominion Gulf Company conducted an investigation of an aeromagnetic survey anomaly in 1954. Subsequently, detailed ground magnetic surveys were completed that successfully identified several anomalous magnetic highs in the SE-Zone and in close proximity to the D-Zone. Diamond drilling showed that some of these anomalies were associated with elevated niobium concentrations.
The property is located within the Kapuskasing Structural Zone (KSZ) of the Archean Superior Province in the Canadian Shield. The Kapuskasing Strucutural Zone is characterized by high grade Archean gneisses trending northeast as well as sub-parallel faults. In the southern part of the KSZ, these rocks are intruded by three known alkali intrusive complexes: the Borden Lake, Lackner Lake, and Nemegosenda Lake alakli intrusive complexes. The Nemegosenda niobium property covers majority of the Nemegosenda Lake alkali intrusive complex.
The Nemegosenda Lake alkali intrusive complex is an elliptical body approximately 5 by 7 km, with the semi-major axis oriented north-south. The complex is emplaced within Archean age orthogneisses. Orthogneissic wall rocks show variable degrees of fenitization, with the intensity of fenitization increasing with proximity to the intrusion. The intrusive body is characterized by arcuate and partial rings of gabbro, ijolite, fenite, nepheline, syenite, carbonatite, malignite, syenite, and mafic syenite. Several later-stage carbonatite, lamprophyre, and alkalic dykes cross-cut these units. The complex was emplaced following metamorphism and deformation associated with the formation of the KSZ. The complex is offset by northeast trending faults.
Niobium mineralization in the D-Zone occurs at the contact region between the outer fenitized host rocks and the inner alkali intrusion. In the D-Zone, the niobium ore mineral pyrochlore is most commonly associated with flat-lying malignite units. However, pyrochlore mineralization occurs within fenite units that are cut by variable amounts of malignite veins and stringers, or have fragmental inclusions of malignite within fenites. Alkali fenites are commonly mineralized with lower concentrations of niobium, especially where aegerine-augite mineral assemblages occur.
In the SE-Zone, niobium mineralization is commonly associated with pyrochlore-magnetite rich pyroxenites inferred to be the result of original igneous layering features. Higher grade niobium values are present locally, and are associated with biotite-apatite jacupirangites. Yttrium and elevated rare earth element (REE) concentrations are commonly associated with garnetiferous pyroxenites and wollastonite pyroxenites.
Dominion Gulf Co. completed a magnetic survey and several drill holes on the property. The company’s initial focus was on the drilling of magnetic anomalies in the SE-Zone, most likely caused by the pyrochlore-magnetite rich pyroxenites. By the fall of 1956, 68 holes had been completed totaling 35,306 feet (~10,760 m) of diamond drilling on the property. Approximately 33 of these holes were drilled in the D-Zone, majority of which occurred on a cross-sectional drilling pattern. In 1958, an adit was driven 580 feet (~177 m) into the main D-Zone to obtain a bulk sample, and $1,000,000 was spent to investigate and develop a process of metallurgical extraction at the time.
This work resulted in a historic, non 43-101 compliant resource estimate of approximately 18 – 20 short tons grading 0.47 % Nb2O5. This resource estimate used a block model that extended from surface to approximately 180 – 200 meters depth. More information on the historic resource estimate is presented in the NI 43-101 compliant technical report completed by P. Chance (2010), which is available through SEDAR.
Musto Exploration Ltd. continued exploration in the late 1980s. Their predominant focus was on developing the REE potential in the SE-Zone. They completed an airborne magnetic and EM survey of the property, trenching work, and re-assayed some historic Gulf Dominion core for REEs.
Current Exploration Work
Sarissa began exploration again in 2008, and drilled 11 holes in the D-Zone. This work mainly looked at expanding and improving drill hole coverage on the cross-sectional pattern drilled by Dominion Gulf Co. Two holes were drilled in the SE-Zone, with DDH-10-81 showing elevated REE concentrations, and expanding the known extents of niobium mineralization. Currently, a new drill program aims at duplicating historic Gulf Dominion holes in the D-Zone to validate and confirm historic data, to enable the possible use of this data in an updated, comprehensive resource estimate for the D-Zone. This work follows on recommendations by P. Chance in the 2010 NI 43-101 compliant technical report.
"Dominion Gulf carried out metallurgical testing of material derived from the Chewett
Township deposits. Work appears to have focused on the D Zone completing conventional
(physical liberation and concentration) tests with disappointing results and developing two
hyrdometallurgical [chemical] extraction processes (chlorination and phosgenation) before
halting the project in 1962 (Lerner, 1962). "
"Development work followed two variants of an extractive chlorination scheme; catalyzed
chlorination and phosgenation processes. The phosgenation process was taken through the
pilot plant stage, however, the plant configuration is similar for both process.
Both processes are demonstrably operable and appear capable of producing high purity niobium metal powder for a total cost of less than $13 / kg at a 1000 tpy (ibid.)"
"The author obtained a copy of the Ontario Department of Mines and Northern Development Mineral Resources Circular 14 entitled “Columbium (Niobium) Deposits in Ontario” by Stewart Ferguson, 1971. The circular reported that approximately 1,000 tons of mineralized material was mined from the D Zone, of which 40 tons were shipped for metallurgical pilot plant testing.The results of the test yielded 90% recovery of niobium."
A further aspect of this program will entail beginning metallurgical studies. SGS Lakefield Research Ltd. has been retained to conduct a Proof of concept program, which will focus on the recovery of niobium compounds. The multi-disciplinary approach will fully characterize the ore, investigate if physical ore upgrading is feasible by standard ore beneficiation processes, and develop a hydrometallurgical method for the extraction and selective recovery of (initially) the Nb phase. The investigation should be considered as a scoping or pre-feasibility study to establish a baseline flowsheet for targeted product recovery.
So far the first phase of metallurgical testing has been completed and no barriers to extraction have been identified. This correlates well with the previous $1,000,000 of metallurgical research conducted by Dominion Gulf Company in conjunction with the Colorado School of Mines Research Foundation in 1959-1960. The next stage metallurgical testing will focus on a more detailed mineralogical study.
Table of Contents
1. Property Overview 2. Regional Geology 3. Local Geology 4. Exploration History 5. Current Exploration
The Shining Tree property is located approximately 3 km to the northeast of the village of Shining Tree, 115 km to the southwest of Kirkland Lake, and 100 km south of Timmins, Ontario. The Shining Tree area first became a target for gold exploration with the discovery of the Gosselin Zone in 1911. Majority of follow-up work on the claim group was completed by Noranda Exploration Company, Tribridge Consolidated Gold Mines Ltd., Patino Mines Ltd., and Onitap Resources Inc. in the 1970s and 1980s, which used diamond drilling to test magnetic, VLF-EM, and Resitivity-IP trends associated with gold mineralization. Previous work has shown that both high-grade gold mineralization with an associated nugget effect, and more disseminated, low grade gold mineralization occur on the claim group.
The Shining Tree area is part of the southern portion of the Abitibi greenstone belt assemblages, a geologic sub-province of the Archean-aged Superior Province within the Precambrian Shield. Supracrustal rocks of the Pacaud, Deloro, Kidd-Munro, Tisdale, and Timiskaming assemblages are present in this portion of the Abitibi. The Shining Tree property itself is underlain by the Pacaud Assemblage (2750 – 2735 Ma), composed of Archean metavolcanics and metasediments which are intruded by later stage granite and gabbro intrusions, as well as Proterozoic diabase dikes and sills striking northwest. Metavolcanic packages vary from ultramafic, mafic, to felsic flows and pyroclastic rocks. Locally, metasedimentary rocks such as argillite, iron formation, and chert can be present.
Regional scale faults trending north-northwest occur in Shining Tree area, and the Michiwakenda and Shining Tree faults are typical of these regional scale faults. The Ridout Fault trends westward through the area, and is hypothesized to be the extension of the Larder Lake Break, which passes through the northern part of Churchill township. The Gosselin Zone represents a possible splay fault off of the Ridout Fault.
The Shining Tree property is underlain by mafic volcanics and lesser amounts of komatiites, which are overlain by intermediate and felsic volcanic rocks. A small plug of feldspar porphyry occurs on the property, as well as northwest striking diabase dykes.
High grade gold mineralization occurs predominantly within the Gosselin Zone, the main quartz vein that is 1.5 miles long, 1.6 to 65 feet wide, and strikes at 345 degrees dipping 60 degrees to the west. The Discovery Zone is a splay vein off of the main Gosselin Vein, and is 2000 feet long, 3 feet wide, and strikes at 296 degrees. Quartz veining shows erratic, high grade gold mineralization. The Mcbride-Zone represents an extension of the Discovery Vein, and is characterized by quartz stockworks.
Alteration zones around these veins are characterized by pyrite, chacolpyrite, and gold surrounding quartz vein structures carrying high grade gold values. The potential of alteration zones to carry more consistent gold mineralization are exemplified in recent drilling carried out by Shining Tree Resources, where pyrite mineralization was typically auriferous, and gold grades were not well correlated with quartz veining.
Gold was first discovered in the Shining Tree area in 1911 by Fred Gosselin, and he continued exploration between 1912 – 1918. This exploration work consisted of trenching and sampling. The best assay from the main vein was 4 oz/t gold and 20.1 oz/t silver. Several other companies completed trenching and sampling work between 1928 and 1958.
More advanced exploration in the form of diamond drilling was completed in the 1970s on the claim group by Noranda Exploration Company (1973), Tribridge Consolidated Gold Mines Ltd. (1975), and Patino Mines Ltd. (1979 – 1981) with limited assays available. A more comprehensive exploration program was completed by Onitap Resources Inc. which consisted of diamond drilling to test IP anomalies. The results of significant exploration results are summarized in the table below.
Current Exploration The company has completed recent magnetic and IP surveys that have identified prospective targets that look to be extensions of previously drilled gold structures. Additionally, diamond drilling has been proposed to test these targets, and to increase the extent of gold mineralization that has been identified to date. Majority of the work is proposed to occur on the Gosselin Zone, with reconnaissance holes planned for chargeability anomalies associated with the altered komatiites to the southwest of the main gold structure.
Shining Tree Resources Corp.
Disclaimer: This is a research report for Sarissa Resources shareholders. It is presented on an as is basis for my entertainment use only. Full disclosure: I own this stock and have not been compensated by the company for my work.
References:Nemegosenda:NI Reports:John Archibald Billiken Management Services July 2009
Patrick Chance September 23, 2010
Patrick Chance April 23, 2015
Other Technical Reports:
Columbium( Niobium) Deposits of Ontario By STEWART A. FERGUSON 1971
Nemegosenda Lake Alkalic Rock Complex District of Sudbury by R.P. Sage 1987
Warren Hawkins July 12, 2010
Geology of the Chapleau Area Districts of Algoma, Sudbury, and Cochrane By P.C. Thurston, G.M. Siragusa, and P.P. Sage Geoscience Report 157
Dominion Gulf/BJ Lerner Patents:Process for the removal of carbonates from carbonate-containing ores
PROCESS FOR RECOVERY OF NIOBIUM FROM oREs IN ASSOCIATIONS
WITH ALKALINE EARTH METALS
Process for recovery of niobium
Process for recovery of niobium from ores in association with alkaline earth metals
Sulfurous acid leaching and reductive chlorination of high melting metal-containing ores
Reductive chlorination of activated ores containing high melting metals
Dominion Gulf Drill Logs
Developed Prospect with Reserves
Interviews and Articles
Scott Keevil Resource World Article by Jennifer Getsinger PhD (May-2009)
Sarissa Resources Conference Call (Sep. 23, 2014)
Interview with Dan Byrnes (Oct. 13, 2014)
Interview with Dan Byrnes (Mar. 6, 2015)
Shining TreeNI ReportsFred Sharpley June 30, 2011
Fred Sharpley June 30, 2012
Niobium Uses -
NiobiumFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Niobium, formerly columbium, is a chemical element with symbol Nb (formerly Cb) and atomic number 41. It is a soft, grey, ductile transition metal, which is often found in the pyrochlore mineral, the main commercial source for niobium, and columbite. The name comes from Greek mythology: Niobe, daughter of Tantalus since it is so similar to tantalum. 
Niobium has physical and chemical properties similar to those of the element tantalum, and the two are therefore difficult to distinguish. The English chemist Charles Hatchett reported a new element similar to tantalum in 1801 and named it columbium. In 1809, the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston wrongly concluded that tantalum and columbium were identical. The German chemist Heinrich Rose determined in 1846 that tantalum ores contain a second element, which he named niobium. In 1864 and 1865, a series of scientific findings clarified that niobium and columbium were the same element (as distinguished from tantalum), and for a century both names were used interchangeably. Niobium was officially adopted as the name of the element in 1949, but the name columbium remains in current use in metallurgy in the United States.
It was not until the early 20th century that niobium was first used commercially. Brazil is the leading producer of niobium and ferroniobium, an alloy of niobium and iron. Niobium is used mostly in alloys, the largest part in special steel such as that used in gas pipelines. Although these alloys contain a maximum of 0.1%, the small percentage of niobium enhances the strength of the steel. The temperature stability of niobium-containing superalloys is important for its use in jet and rocket engines. Niobium is used in various superconducting materials. These superconducting alloys, also containing titanium and tin, are widely used in the superconducting magnets of MRI scanners. Other applications of niobium include its use in welding, nuclear industries, electronics, optics, numismatics, and jewelry. In the last two applications, niobium's low toxicity and ability to be colored by anodization are particular advantages.
HistoryNiobium was discovered by the English chemist Charles Hatchett in 1801.  He found a new element in a mineral sample that had been sent to England from Massachusetts, United States in 1734 by John Winthrop F.R.S. (grandson of John Winthrop the Younger) and named the mineral columbite and the new element columbium after Columbia, the poetical name for the United States.    The columbium discovered by Hatchett was probably a mixture of the new element with tantalum. 
Subsequently, there was considerable confusion  over the difference between columbium (niobium) and the closely related tantalum. In 1809, the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston compared the oxides derived from both columbium—columbite, with a density 5.918 g/cm3, and tantalum— tantalite, with a density over 8 g/cm3, and concluded that the two oxides, despite the significant difference in density, were identical; thus he kept the name tantalum.  This conclusion was disputed in 1846 by the German chemist Heinrich Rose, who argued that there were two different elements in the tantalite sample, and named them after children of Tantalus:niobium (from Niobe), and pelopium (from Pelops).   This confusion arose from the minimal observed differences between tantalum and niobium. The claimed new elements pelopium, ilmenium and dianium  were in fact identical to niobium or mixtures of niobium and tantalum. 
The differences between tantalum and niobium were unequivocally demonstrated in 1864 by Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand,  and Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville, as well as Louis J. Troost, who determined the formulas of some of the compounds in 1865   and finally by the Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac  in 1866, who all proved that there were only two elements. Articles on ilmenium continued to appear until 1871. 
De Marignac was the first to prepare the metal in 1864, when he reduced niobium chloride by heating it in an atmosphere of hydrogen.  Although de Marignac was able to produce tantalum-free niobium on a larger scale by 1866, it was not until the early 20th century that niobium was first used commercially, in incandescent lamp filaments.  This use quickly became obsolete through the replacement of niobium with tungsten, which has a higher melting point and thus is preferable for use in incandescent lamps. The discovery that niobium improves the strength of steel was made in the 1920s, and this application remains its predominant use.  In 1961 the American physicist Eugene Kunzler and coworkers at Bell Labs discovered that niobium-tin continues to exhibit superconductivity in the presence of strong electric currents and magnetic fields,  making it the first material to support the high currents and fields necessary for useful high-power magnets and electrically powered machinery. This discovery would allow — two decades later — the production of long multi-strand cables that could be wound into coils to create large, powerful electromagnets for rotating machinery, particle accelerators, or particle detectors.  
Naming of the elementColumbium (symbol Cb)  was the name originally given to this element by Hatchett, and this name remained in use in American journals—the last paper published by American Chemical Society with columbium in its title dates from 1953 —while niobium was used in Europe. To end this confusion, the name niobium was chosen for element 41 at the 15th Conference of the Union of Chemistry in Amsterdam in 1949.  A year later this name was officially adopted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) after 100 years of controversy, despite the chronological precedence of the name Columbium.  The latter name is still sometimes used in US industry.  This was a compromise of sorts;  the IUPAC accepted tungsten instead of wolfram, in deference to North American usage; and niobium instead of columbium, in deference to European usage. Not everyone agreed, and while many leading chemical societies and government organizations refer to it by the official IUPAC name, many leading metallurgists, metal societies, and the United States Geological Survey still refer to the metal by the original "columbium".  
CharacteristicsPhysicalNiobium is a lustrous, grey, ductile, paramagnetic metal in group 5 of the periodic table (see table), although it has an atypical configuration in its outermost electron shells compared to the rest of the members. (This can be observed in the neighborhood of ruthenium (44), rhodium (45), and palladium (46).)Niobium becomes a superconductor at cryogenic temperatures. At atmospheric pressure, it has the highest critical temperature of the elemental superconductors: 9.2 K.  Niobium has the largest magnetic penetration depth of any element.  In addition, it is one of the three elemental Type II superconductors, along with vanadium and technetium. The superconductive properties are strongly dependent on the purity of the niobium metal.  When very pure, it is comparatively soft and ductile, but impurities make it harder. 
The metal has a low capture cross-section for thermal neutrons;  thus it is used in the nuclear industries. 
ChemicalThe metal takes on a bluish tinge when exposed to air at room temperature for extended periods.  Despite presenting a high melting point in elemental form (2,468 °C), it has a low density in comparison to other refractory metals. Furthermore, it is corrosion-resistant, exhibits superconductivity properties, and forms dielectric oxide layers.
Niobium is slightly less electropositive and more compact than its predecessor in the periodic table, zirconium, whereas it is virtually identical in size to the heavier tantalum atoms, owing to the lanthanide contraction.  As a result, niobium's chemical properties are very similar to those for tantalum, which appears directly below niobium in the periodic table.  Although its corrosion resistance is not as outstanding as that of tantalum, its lower price and greater availability make niobium attractive for less demanding uses such as linings in chemical plants. 
IsotopesNaturally occurring niobium is composed of one stable isotope, 93Nb.  By 2003, at least 32 radioisotopes had been synthesized, ranging in atomic mass from 81 to 113. The most stable of these is 92Nb with a half-life of 34.7 million years. One of the least stable is 113Nb, with an estimated half-life of 30 milliseconds. Isotopes that are lighter than the stable 93Nb tend to decay by ß + decay, and those that are heavier tend to decay by ß - decay, with some exceptions. 81Nb, 82Nb, and 84Nb have minor ß+ delayed proton emission decay paths, 91Nb decays by electron capture and positron emission, and 92Nb decays by both ß + and ß - decay. 
At least 25 nuclear isomers have been described, ranging in atomic mass from 84 to 104. Within this range, only 96Nb, 101Nb, and 103Nb do not have isomers. The most stable of niobium's isomers is 93mNb with a half-life of 16.13 years. The least stable isomer is 84mNb with a half-life of 103 ns. All of niobium's isomers decay by isomeric transition or beta decay except 92m1Nb, which has a minor electron capture decay chain. 
OccurrenceNiobium is estimated to be the 33rd most common element in the Earth’s crust, with 20 ppm.  Some think that the abundance on Earth is much greater, but that the "missing" niobium may be located in the Earth’s core due to the metal's high density.  The free element is not found in nature, but niobium occurs in combination with other elements in minerals.  Minerals that contain niobium often also contain tantalum. Examples include columbite ((Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)2O6) and columbite–tantalite (or coltan, (Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6).  Columbite–tantalite minerals are most usually found as accessory minerals in pegmatite intrusions, and in alkaline intrusive rocks. Less common are the niobates of calcium, uranium, thorium and the rare earth elements. Examples of such niobates are pyrochlore((Na,Ca)2Nb2O6(OH,F)) and euxenite ((Y,Ca,Ce,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6). These large deposits of niobium have been found associated with carbonatites ( carbonate- silicate igneous rocks) and as a constituent of pyrochlore. 
The two largest deposits of pyrochlore were found in the 1950s in Brazil and Canada, and both countries are still the major producers of niobium mineral concentrates.  The largest deposit is hosted within a carbonatite intrusion at Araxá, Minas Gerais Brazil, owned by CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração); the other deposit is located in Goiás and owned by Anglo American plc (through its subsidiary Mineração Catalão), also hosted within a carbonatite intrusion.  Altogether these two Brazilian mines produce around 75% of world supply. The third largest producer of niobium is the carbonatite-hosted Niobec Mine, Saint-Honoré near Chicoutimi, Quebec owned by Iamgold Corporation Ltd, which produces around 7% of world supply. 
ProductionAfter the separation from the other minerals, the mixed oxides of tantalum Ta 2 O 5 and niobium Nb 2 O 5 are obtained. The first step in the processing is the reaction of the oxides with hydrofluoric acid: 
Ta2O5 + 14 HF ? 2 H2[TaF7] + 5 H2O
Nb2O5 + 10 HF ? 2 H2[NbOF5] + 3 H2O
The first industrial scale separation, developed by de Marignac, exploits the differing solubilities of the complex niobium and tantalum fluorides, dipotassium oxypentafluoroniobate monohydrate (K2[NbOF5]·H2O) and dipotassium heptafluorotantalate (K2[TaF7]) in water. Newer processes use the liquid extraction of the fluorides from aqueous solution by organic solvents like cyclohexanone.  The complex niobium and tantalum fluorides are extracted separately from the organic solvent with water and either precipitated by the addition of potassium fluoride to produce a potassium fluoride complex, or precipitated with ammonia as the pentoxide: 
H2[NbOF5] + 2 KF ? K2[NbOF5]? + 2 HF
2 H2[NbOF5] + 10 NH4OH ? Nb2O5? + 10 NH4F + 7 H2O
Several methods are used for the reduction to metallic niobium. The electrolysis of a molten mixture of K2[NbOF5] and sodium chloride is one; the other is the reduction of the fluoride with sodium. With this method niobium with a relatively high purity can be obtained. In large scale production the reduction of Nb2O5 with hydrogen or carbon  is used. In the process involving the aluminothermic reaction a mixture of iron oxide and niobium oxide is reacted with aluminium:
3 Nb2O5 + Fe2O3 + 12 Al ? 6 Nb + 2 Fe + 6 Al2O3
To enhance the reaction, small amounts of oxidizers like sodium nitrate are added. The result is aluminium oxide and ferroniobium, an alloy of iron and niobium used in the steel production.   The ferroniobium contains between 60 and 70% of niobium.  Without addition of iron oxide, aluminothermic process is used for the production of niobium. Further purification is necessary to reach the grade for superconductive alloys. Electron beam melting under vacuum is the method used by the two major distributors of niobium.  
As of 2013, the Brazilian company Cia. Brasileira de Metalurgia & Mineracao "controls 85 percent of the world's niobium production".  The United States Geological Survey estimates that the production increased from 38,700 tonnes in 2005 to 44,500 tonnes in 2006.   The worldwide resources are estimated to be 4,400,000 tonnes.  During the ten-year period between 1995 and 2005, the production more than doubled, starting from 17,800 tonnes in 1995.  Since 2009 production is stable at around 63,000 tonnes per year. 
CompoundsNiobium is in many ways similar to tantalum and zirconium. It reacts with most nonmetals at high temperatures: niobium reacts with fluorine at room temperature, with chlorine and hydrogen at 200 ° C, and with nitrogen at 400 °C, giving products that are frequently interstitial and nonstoichiometric.  The metal begins to oxidize in air at 200 ° C,  and is resistant to corrosion by fused alkalis and by acids, including aqua regia, hydrochloric, sulfuric, nitric and phosphoric acids. Niobium is attacked by hydrofluoric acid and hydrofluoric/nitric acid mixtures.
Although niobium exhibits all of the formal oxidation states from +5 to -1, in most commonly encountered compounds, it is found in the +5 state. Characteristically, compounds in oxidation states less than 5+ display Nb–Nb bonding.
Oxides and sulfidesNiobium forms oxides with the oxidation states +5 ( Nb 2 O 5), +4 ( NbO 2), and +3 (Nb2O3),  as well as with the rarer oxidation state +2 ( NbO).  Most commonly encountered is the pentoxide, precursor to almost all niobium compounds and alloys.   Niobates are generated by dissolving the pentoxide in basic hydroxidesolutions or by melting it in alkali metal oxides. Examples are lithium niobate (LiNbO3) and lanthanum niobate (LaNbO4). In the lithium niobate is a trigonally distorted perovskite-like structure, whereas the lanthanum niobate contains lone NbO3-
4 ions.  The layered niobium sulfide (NbS2) is also known. 
Materials with a thin film coating of niobium(V) oxide can be produced by chemical vapor deposition or atomic layer deposition processes, in each case by the thermal decomposition of niobium(V) ethoxide above 350 °C.  
HalidesA sample of niobium pentachloride (yellow portion) that has partially hydrolyzed (white material).
Ball-and-stick model of niobium pentachloride, which exists as a dimer
Niobium forms halides in the oxidation states of +5 and +4 as well as diverse substoichiometric compounds.   The pentahalides (NbX
5) feature octahedral Nb centres. Niobium pentafluoride (NbF5) is a white solid with a melting point of 79.0 °C and niobium pentachloride (NbCl5) is yellow (see image at left) with a melting point of 203.4 °C. Both are hydrolyzed to give oxides and oxyhalides, such as NbOCl3. The pentachloride is a versatile reagent being used to generate the organometallic compounds, such as niobocene dichloride ((C 5H 5) 2NbCl 2).  The tetrahalides (NbX 4) are dark-coloured polymers with Nb-Nb bonds, for example the black hygroscopic niobium tetrafluoride (NbF4) and brown niobium tetrachloride (NbCl4).
Anionic halide compounds of niobium are well known, owing in part to the Lewis acidity of the pentahalides. The most important is [NbF7]2-, which is an intermediate in the separation of Nb and Ta from the ores.  This heptafluoride tends to form the oxopentafluoride more readily than does the tantalum compound.Other halide complexes include octahedral [NbCl6]-:
Nb2Cl10 + 2 Cl- ? 2 [NbCl6]-
As for other early metals, a variety of reduced halide clusters are known, the premier example being [Nb6Cl18]4-. 
Nitrides and carbidesOther binary compounds of niobium include the niobium nitride (NbN), which becomes a superconductor at low temperatures and is used in detectors for infrared light.  The main niobium carbide is NbC, an extremely hard, refractory, ceramic material, commercially used in tool bits for cutting tools.
ApplicationsIt is estimated that out of 44,500 metric tons of niobium mined in 2006, 90% was used in the production of high-grade structural steel, followed by its use in superalloys.  The use of niobium alloys for superconductors and in electronic components account only for a small share of the production. 
Steel productionNiobium is an effective microalloying element for steel. Adding niobium to the steel causes the formation of niobium carbideand niobium nitride within the structure of the steel.  These compounds improve the grain refining, retardation of recrystallization, and precipitation hardening of the steel. These effects in turn increase the toughness, strength, formability, and weldability of the microalloyed steel.  Microalloyed stainless steels have a niobium content of less than 0.1%.  It is an important alloy addition to high strength low alloy steels which are widely used as structural components in modern automobiles.  These niobium-containing alloys are strong and are often used in pipeline construction.  
SuperalloysAppreciable amounts of the element, either in its pure form or in the form of high-purity ferroniobium and nickel niobium, are used in nickel-, cobalt-, and iron-based superalloys for such applications as jet engine components, gas turbines, rocket subassemblies, turbo charger systems, and heat resisting and combustion equipment. Niobium precipitates a hardening ?''-phase within the grain structure of the superalloy.  The alloys contain up to 6.5% niobium.  One example of a nickel-based niobium-containing superalloy is Inconel 718, which consists of roughly 50% nickel, 18.6% chromium, 18.5% iron, 5% niobium, 3.1% molybdenum, 0.9% titanium, and 0.4% aluminium.   These superalloys are used, for example, in advanced air frame systems such as those used in the Gemini program.
An alloy used for liquid rocket thruster nozzles, such as in the main engine of the Apollo Lunar Modules, is the niobium alloyC-103, which consists of 89% niobium, 10% hafnium and 1% titanium.  Another niobium alloy was used for the nozzle of the Apollo Service Module. As niobium is oxidized at temperatures above 400 °C, a protective coating is necessary for these applications to prevent the alloy from becoming brittle. 
Niobium-base alloysC-103 alloy was developed in the early 1960s jointly by the Wah Chang Corporation and Boeing Co. DuPont, Union Carbide Corp., General Electric Co. and several other companies were developing Nb-base alloys simultaneously, largely driven by the Cold War and Space Race. The sensitivity of Nb to oxygen requires processing in vacuum or inert atmosphere, which significantly increases the cost and difficulty of production. Vacuum arc remelting (VAR) and electron beam melting (EBM), novel processes at the time, enabled the development of reactive metals such as Nb. The project that yielded C-103 began in 1959 with as many as 256 experimental Nb alloys in the "C-series" (possibly from columbium) that could be melted as buttons and rolled into sheet. Wah Chang had an inventory of Hf, refined from nuclear-grade Zr, that it wanted to put to commercial use. The 103rd experimental composition of the C-series alloys, Nb-10Hf-1Ti, had the best combination of formability and high-temperature properties. Wah Chang fabricated the first 500-lb heat of C-103 in 1961, ingot to sheet, using EBM and VAR. The intended applications included turbine engine components and liquid metal heat exchangers. Competing Nb alloys from that era included FS85 (Nb-10W-28Ta-1Zr) from Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., Cb129Y (Nb-10W-10Hf-0.2Y) from Wah Chang and Boeing, Cb752 (Nb-10W-2.5Zr) from Union Carbide, and Nb1Zr from Superior Tube Co. 
Superconducting magnets Niobium-germanium (Nb3Ge), niobium-tin (Nb3Sn), as well as the niobium-titanium alloys are used as a type II superconductor wire for superconducting magnets.   These superconducting magnets are used in magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance instruments as well as in particle accelerators.  For example, the Large Hadron Collider uses 600 tons of superconducting strands, while the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is estimated to use 600 tonnes of Nb3Sn strands and 250 tonnes of NbTi strands.  In 1992 alone, niobium-titanium wires were used to construct more than US$1 billion worth of clinical magnetic resonance imaging systems. 
Other superconductorsThe Superconducting Radio Frequency (RF) cavities used in the free electron lasers FLASH (result of the cancelled TESLA linear accelerator project) and XFEL are made from pure niobium. 
The high sensitivity of superconducting niobium nitride bolometers make them an ideal detector for electromagnetic radiationin the THz frequency band. These detectors were tested at the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope, the South Pole Telescope, the Receiver Lab Telescope, and at APEX and are now used in the HIFI instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory. 
Other usesElectroceramics Lithium niobate, which is a ferroelectric, is used extensively in mobile telephones and optical modulators, and for the manufacture of surface acoustic wave devices. It belongs to the ABO 3 structure ferroelectrics like lithium tantalate and barium titanate.  Niobium capacitors are available as alternative to tantalum capacitors, but tantalum capacitors are still predominant. Niobium is added to glass in order to attain a higher refractive index, a property of use to the optical industry in making thinner corrective glasses.
Hypoallergenic applications: medicine and jewelryNiobium and some niobium alloys are physiologically inert and thus hypoallergenic. For this reason, niobium is found in many medical devices such as pacemakers.  Niobium treated with sodium hydroxide forms a porous layer that aids osseointegration. 
Along with titanium, tantalum, and aluminium, niobium can also be electrically heated and anodized, resulting in a wide array of colours using a process known as reactive metal anodizing which is useful in making jewelry.   The fact that niobium is hypoallergenic also benefits its use in jewelry. 
NumismaticsNiobium is used as a precious metal in commemorative coins, often with silver or gold. For example, Austria produced a series of silver niobium euro coins starting in 2003; the colour in these coins is created by the diffraction of light by a thin oxide layer produced by anodising.  In 2012, ten coins are available showing a broad variety of colours in the centre of the coin: blue, green, brown, purple, violet, or yellow. Two more examples are the 2004 Austrian €25 150 Years Semmering Alpine Railway commemorative coin,  and the 2006 Austrian €25 European Satellite Navigation commemorative coin. The Austrian mint produced for Latvia a similar series of coins starting in 2004,  with one following in 2007.  In 2011, the Royal Canadian Mint started production of a $5 sterling silver and niobium coin named Hunter's Moon  in which the niobium was selectively oxidized, thus creating unique finishes where no two coins are exactly alike.
OtherThe arc-tube seals of high pressure sodium vapor lamps are made from niobium, or niobium with 1% of zirconium, because niobium has a very similar coefficient of thermal expansion to the sintered alumina arc tube ceramic, a translucent material which resists chemical attack or reduction by the hot liquid sodium and sodium vapour contained inside the operating lamp.    The metal is also used in arc welding rods for some stabilized grades of stainless steel.  It is also used as a material in anodes for cathodic protection systems on some water tanks, which are then usually plated by platinum.  
PrecautionsNiobium has no known biological role. While niobium dust is an eye and skin irritant and a potential fire hazard, elemental niobium on a larger scale is physiologically inert (and thus hypoallergenic) and harmless. It is frequently used in jewelry and has been tested for use in some medical implants.  
Niobium-containing compounds are rarely encountered by most people, but some are toxic and should be treated with care. The short and long term exposure to niobates and niobium chloride, two chemicals that are water soluble, have been tested in rats. Rats treated with a single injection of niobium pentachloride or niobates show a median lethal dose (LD50) between 10 and 100 mg/kg.    For oral administration the toxicity is lower; a study with rats yielded a LD50 after seven days of 940 mg/kg.