Home » Resource Center » Niobium


Niobium is an element which, when added to steel, makes it stronger, lighter in weight, and highly resistant to corrosion.  These steels are known as High Strength, Low Alloy steels (HSLA).  Niobium is added to steel in the form of Ferroniobium, which is a mixture of 65% niobium and 35% iron.  Ferroniobium represents over 90% of world niobium production. For many applications, such as super alloys and oil and gas pipelines steels, there are no effective substitutes for niobium.


About Niobium



Atomic Number


Element Classification 


Phase at Room Temp.


Melting Point

2750 K (2477°C or 4491°F)

Boiling Point

5017 K (4744°C or 8571°F)


8.57 grams per cubic centimeter

To learn more about the element Niobium, please see the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Niobium page here.

Powerful Steel Strengthener

Niobium strengthens steel, which allows for lighter structures and vehicles.  It also makes steel more corrosion resistant.

Vital to Multiple Markets

Niobium is vital to applications in many markets, including aerospace, construction, transportation, oil & gas, superalloys and others.

Growing Market Demand

Demand for Niobium implies a global market value of $2B–$3B, with Compound Annual Growth Rates in the 4-6% range.

Ferroniobium’s Use in Global Markets

Current Ferroniobium Production

Recent Trends in Steel Alloy Markets

  • Recently strengthened rebar standards in China are raising Chinese consumption of vanadium and niobium. Western and Chinese steel producers are shifting some melts towards niobium.
  • These standards, and other factors, have helped to drive up pricing for both of these high-strength steel additives.
  • Chinese utilization of Ferroniobium (FeNb) in HSLA steel was 22g of Niobium per tonne in 2017. That compares to 130g/t in the EU, and a 55g/t global average.
  • China’s increased access to FeNb, via China Molybdenum’s purchase of Anglo-American’s Brazilian and their 15% equity stake in CBMM, is expected to continue to increase utilization of FeNb in China’s steel sector.
  • Brazilian FeNb exports grew 9.8% to 76,044 tonnes in the first 3 quarters of 2018.
  • U.S. imports of FeNb grew 24% to 9,510 tonnes in the first 3 quarters of 2018.

Superalloy Blog Posts

SUPERALLOY BLOG: Critical Minerals Mining Means New High-Tech Jobs

SUPERALLOY BLOG: Critical Minerals Mining Means New High-Tech Jobs

The more we mine and manufacture our own critical minerals and materials, the more secure our collective economic and national security will be.  But there is another compelling driver behind the resurgence of interest in critical minerals mining and manufacturing:  high-tech jobs and economic growth for states and localities.

ESG: Good for the Environment, Good for Business Investment

ESG: Good for the Environment, Good for Business Investment

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors play a major role in any business, particularly those involved in natural resource development. Doing right by the environment while we serve the needs of our customers, and serving our society’s need for critical minerals, are central to the mission of the NioCorp team.

The Fundamentals of Ferroniobium

The Fundamentals of Ferroniobium

The technology and market fundamentals of ferroniobium, a critical and strategic material vital to many defense and civilian applications, are increasingly compelling to producers, consumers, and government policymakers. The fundamentals of ferroniobium coalesce to form an exciting and robust future for this critical material.

Connect with us socially!