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Mineralpedia Details for Tantalite-(Mn)

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Tantalite-(Mn)

Tantalite-(Mn)

Formula
Mn2+Ta2O6 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Crystalline - Fine, Massive - Granular, Disseminated 
Cleavage
Imperfect, None, None 
Luster
Sub Metallic 
Color
black, brown 
Streak
brown 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Brittle - Uneven 
Hardness
6-6.5 
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Tantalite-(Mn) from Harding mine, Taos Co., New Mexico, United States

Tantalite-(Mn)
            from Harding mine, Taos Co., New Mexico, United States

This is actually a well-formed Tantalite crystal with many faces and only one detachment side.

The Harding pegmatite was once mined by Arthur Montgomeryite for the mineral tantalum in the early 1940's for the war effort. Tantalum was used in radio tubes in those days. The Harding pegmatite was also mined for lepidolite and spodumene for its lithium content as well as Beryl for beryllium.  I believe it is now owend by the NM School of Mines. This specimen is from the late Art Smith collection.

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Tantalite-(Mn) from Alto do Giz pegmatite, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Tantalite-(Mn)
            from Alto do Giz pegmatite, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

A thick tabular, shiny, very nice crystal of Tantalite. The crystal tapers downward and has many slightly striated faces. 

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