Definition of tantalite in English:



  • [mass noun] A rare, dense black mineral consisting of a mixed oxide of iron and tantalum, of which it is the principal source.

    • ‘Coltan is a contraction of colombo tantalite, an excellent conductor that is exceptionally resistant to heat and cold and valuable as a coat for electronic components in mobile phones.’
    • ‘In older Glossaries there were listings following both columbite and tantalite that referred the reader to ferrocolumbite, magnocolumbite, manganocolumbite, and so on.’
    • ‘In the Democratic Republic of Congo miners seeking the highly prized mineral tantalite, or coltan, have been pouring waste into the Biega national park and Okapi wildlife reserve.’
    • ‘Although no spectacular or highly valuable minerals are present, the pegmatites contain minerals seldom found in Wyoming, such as petalite, beusite, lepidolite, and tantalite.’
    • ‘Lepidolite, beryl, tantalite, quartz crystals, and altered and unaltered petalite are some of the minerals that can be found in this district.’


Early 19th century: from tantalum + -ite.