(Gr. Tantalos, mythological character, father of Niobe) Discovered in 1802 by Ekeberg,but many chemists thought niobium and tantalum were identical elements until Rowe in 1844,and Marignac, in 1866, showed that niobic and tantalic acids were two different acids. Theearly investigators only isolated the impure metal. The first relatively pure ductiletantalum was produced by von Bolton in 1903. Tantalum occurs principally in the mineralcolumbite-tantalite.
Tantalum ores are found in Australia, Brazil, Mozambique, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria,Zaire, and Canada.
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