China discovers never-before-seen ore containing a highly valuable rare earth element
Oct 14, 2023

Scientists in China have unearthed a never-before-seen type of ore that contains a rare earth element sought after for its superconductive properties.
The ore, dubbed niobobaotite, is made of niobium, barium, titanium, iron and chloride, the South China Morning Post reported.
It's the niobium that is causing excitement: This light-gray metal is currently used mostly in the production of steel, which it strengthens without adding significant weight. Niobium is also used in making other alloys (materials made of mixes of metals) and can be found in particle accelerators and other advanced scientific equipment because it is a superconductor at low temperatures, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.