Coltan africa

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As new technologies emerge and produce new devices, demand will grow. There is no ready substitute. Security analysts say it is a strategic mineral. War-torn Central Africa supplies about a fourth of the world market as production declines in Australia, the previous world leader. Most Central African coltan is considered conflict mineral because mining areas are controlled by armed factions and organized crime. There is no simple way to keep conflict coltan out of the stream of legitimate minerals used by manufacturers.

Controlling the flow of conflict coltan involves comprehensive action by governments, industry and activists.

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The International Medical Devices Database. Offshore Leaks Database. Published on. Coltan is inside every smart phone. Recommended reading. Spread the word.

Five things you need to know about coltan

Help us continue our work. We depend on the generous support of readers like you to help us expose corruption and hold the powerful to account. Inside The Illicit Trade of Coltan.

coltan africa

The ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use.Coltan short for columbite—tantalites and known industrially as tantalite is a dull black metallic ore from which are extracted the elements niobium and tantalum. The niobium-dominant mineral in coltan is columbite after niobium's original American name columbiumand the tantalum-dominant mineral is the tantalite.

Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture tantalum capacitors which are used for portable telephones, personal computers, automotive electronics, and cameras. Potential future mines, in descending order of magnitude, are being explored in EgyptGreenlandChina, AustraliaFinlandCanada, Nigeria and Brazil. However, due to environmental regulations no mining of coltan is currently taking place in Canada itself, [11] with the exception of a single proposed mine in Blue River, British Columbia.

A discussion of Canadian mining by Natural Resources Canadaupdated indoes not mention either coltan or tantalum. InRwanda announced that AB Minerals Corporation would open a coltan separation plant in Rwanda by mid, the first to operate on the African continent. Reserves have been identified in Afghanistan[18] but the ongoing war there precludes either general exploration or exploring specifically for coltan for the foreseeable future. Australian mining company Sons of Gwalia once produced half the world's tantalum but went into administration in The mine re-opened in but closed again after less than a year.

Atlas Iron began mining iron ore there in and ceased operations there in April Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced in that a significant reserve of coltan was discovered in western Venezuelaalthough at least one coltan mining operation had previously been authorized in the area.

Nonetheless he outlawed private mines in the region and, saying that the FARC was financing itself with illegal mining, sent 15, troops in to deal with them.

Technical advisers for the mining project were allegedly provided by a subsidiary of Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquartersa wholly owned enterprise of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which had been under US sanctions since October 25, Also inthe Colombian government announced coltan reserves had been found in Colombia 's eastern provinces.

The United States responded to conflict minerals with section of the Dodd-Frank Act, which required that companies who might have conflict minerals in their supply chain to register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission disclose their suppliers.

Reaction to this legislation was mixed. Based on extensive qualitative fieldwork conducted from to with coltan buyers operating in Bukama TerritoryKalemie and LubumbashiKatanga Provinceone researcher suggested that conflict mineral reforms resulted in better oversight and organization of supply chains, but that inaction by the Congolese government had led to locally negotiated solutions and territorialization which obscure access criteria.

Coltan is used primarily for the production of tantalum capacitorsused in many electronic devices. Many [ quantify ] sources [ example needed ] mention [ where?

Coltan Mining

Niobium and tantalum have a wide range of uses, including refractive lenses for glasses, cameras, phones and printers. They are also used in semiconductor circuits, and capacitors for small electronic devices such as hearing aids, pacemakersand mp3 players, as well as in computer hard drives, automobile electronics, and surface acoustic wave SAW filters for mobile phones.

Coltan is also used to make high-temperature alloys for jet engines and air- and land-based turbines. Certain countries rich in natural resources have been said to suffer from the apparently paradoxical "resource curse" - showing worse economic development than countries with fewer resources. Wealth of resources may also correspond to " The resources generate wealth, which the leaders use to stay in power " The tantalum extracted from coltan is used to make tantalum capacitorsan important component of modern electronics.

In latehuge demand for the newly introduced PlayStation 2 caused the price of coltan to spike. When market saturation later caused a drop in consumer demand for the gaming system, the price of coltan dropped as well. For Congolese, mining is the readiest source of income, because the work is consistently available, even if only for a dollar a day. Farming also presents its own obstacles.

For example, the lack of roads in the Congolese interior makes it extremely difficult to transport produce to market and a harvest can be seized by militias or the military. But organized mines may be run by corrupt groups such as militias.

The Congolese mine coltan with few tools, no safety procedures, and often no mining experience. Miners consider coltan mining a way to provide for themselves in the face of widespread war and conflict and a government that has no concern for their welfare. A study of the radioactivity of the coltan mined in Masisi and other parts of the North Kivu Province found "that grinding and sieving coltan can give rise to high occupational doses, up to 18 mSv per annum on average.

coltan africa

Mining of coltan is mainly artisanal and small-scale and vulnerable to extortion and human trafficking.Our ores are unique and the price is competitive too. Contact us now Dear United States. Contact Now. Ltd -Uganda.

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Coltan Coltan short for Columbite-Tantalite and known industrially as Tantalite is a dull black metallic ore from which the elements Niobium and Tantalum are extracted. The Niobium-dominant mineral in Coltan is Columbite after Niobium's original Coltan Producer.

Tantalum is a single conductor of heat and electricity, malleable and very easily corrosion resistant. Its industrial properties are very popular and this metal turns beneficial T Intercom. Grey Metal International Limited. We can sell from to tons of Amethyst per month according to Steven Rich Business Consultant. Clientspec Limited. United Kingdom. Non-Conflict Venezuelan Origin. Coltan short for Columbite-Tantalite and known industrially as Date: Oct 26, Our ore is all of South American origin.

If you are interested please feel free to contact Mineral Producer. Date: Nov 29, House Of Nations' Hope Ltd. Date: May 20, Date: Jul 1, Global View Inc. Date: Mar 16, It is important to everyday communication in the United States, but it is making the conflict in Congo more complicated. Columbite-tantalite — coltan for short — is a dull metallic ore found in major quantities in the eastern areas of Congo.

When refined, coltan becomes metallic tantalum, a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electrical charge. These properties make it a vital element in creating capacitors, the electronic elements that control current flow inside miniature circuit boards. Tantalum capacitors are used in almost all cell phones, laptops, pagers and many other electronics.

Coltan is mined through a fairly primitive process similar to how gold was mined in California during the s. Dozens of men work together digging large craters in streambeds, scraping away dirt from the surface in order to get to the coltan underground. The workers then slosh water and mud around in large washtubs, allowing the coltan to settle to the bottom due to its heavy weight. A good worker can produce one kilogram of coltan a day.

Coltan mining is very well paid in Congo terms. A highly controversial U. Security Council report recently outlined the alleged exploitation of natural resources, including coltan, from Congo by other countries involved in the current war.

There are reports that forces from neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi are involved in smuggling coltan from Congo, using the revenues generated from the high price of coltan to sustain their efforts in the war. All countries involved in the war deny exploiting Congo's natural resources.

In order to mine for coltan, rebels have overrun Congo's national parks, clearing out large chunks of the area's lush forests. In addition, the poverty and starvation caused by the war have driven some miners and rebels to hunt the parks' endangered elephants and gorillas for food.

In Kahuzi Biega National Park, for example, the gorilla population has been cut nearly in half, from to The path that coltan takes to get from Central Africa to the world market is a highly convoluted one, with legitimate mining operations often being confused with illegal rebel operations, and vice versa, making it difficult to trace the origin. To be safe, in recent months many electronics companies have publicly rejected the use of coltan from anywhere in Central Africa, instead relying on their main suppliers in Australia.

American-based Kemet, the world's largest maker of tantalum capacitors, has asked its suppliers to certify that their coltan ore does not come from Congo or bordering countries.

But it may be a case of too little, too late.Facts about Coltan present the information about the black metallic ore. The word Coltan is the shortened word for columbite—tantalite. People who work in the industry call it tantalite. The elements like tantalum and niobium are taken from Coltan extraction. You can use the word tantalite to call the tantalum dominant mineral.

The word columbine is often used to call the niobium dominant mineral. Here are some interesting facts about Coltan to note:.

The primary usage of Coltan is for making the tantalum capacitors. There are various electronic products in the world created from the tantalum capacitors.

It has been cited that the presence of Coltan mining was used to finance the conflict. The lakes and rivers in Congo were polluted because of the Coltan mining activity in the country was not controlled. Thus, the ecology received the negative impact. The population of Eastern Mountain Gorilla is decreased.

The miners decided to hunt the gorillas because the food source was scarce. The production of Coltan has been decreased from the mines in Africa. The international buyers are encouraged not to buy the Coltan from Congo because the cash is used to find the militia.

Some people believe that mobile phones are the primary devices using Coltan. But some people disagree because Coltan can be seen in various productions of electronic devices. The land based turbines and high temperature alloys also use Coltan.

Find facts about cesium here. The production of tantalum increases around 4 percent per year based on the United States Geological Survey. Congo is one of the countries in the world which has abundant Coltan.What is coltan? However, the black metallic mineral is often the subject of controversy, given that the vast majority of it comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo DRCan African nation that was locked in civil war and unrest for more than a decade.

As demand for coltan and its by-products grows annually, understanding its value to the global supply chain and our daily lives is ever important.

Here are five coltan facts you should know. The mineral coltan is one of the resources that is playing an important role in the technological revolution. Coltan itself is a vessel for technology minerals tantalum and niobium.

Entramos en una mina de coltán - En Tierra Hostil

Coltan, or columbite tantalite, is an ore from which niobium and tantalum are extracted. Rwanda was also involved in a bloody civil war, which resulted in violence and instability.

The aftermath of war has left both nations vulnerable to militia and other groups that often fight over control of the valuable mineral resource and mining sector. In the two nations, coltan is often mined through artisanal operations. Roughly two-thirds of tantalum is used to manufacture electronic capacitors, a fundamental component of smartphones and other in-demand electronics.

Tantalum has contributed hugely to the miniaturization of handheld electronic devices as it allows an electrical charge to be stored in small capacitors. Tantalum is also extremely ductile and can be drawn into a thin wire. Because it causes no immune response in the human body, it is also used to make surgical appliances, as a replacement for bone, as a connector of torn nerves and as a binding agent for muscles.

What Is Coltan?

Coltan may be an important mineral when it comes to construction of electronics, but as mentioned above, the methods used to mine it are not cutting edge at all. As a report from the Daily Mail explains, coltan is often mined by artisanal miners using their hands in the DRC, with rock and sand being panned and filtered until the mineral sinks to the bottom. This process was common during the gold rush in the mids. While some coltan mines, like the Luwow mine in the Eastern DRC, have been deemed conflict free, conditions are still very harsh.

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There have been reports that neighboring countries in Central Africa, including Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, have smuggled coltan from the DRC to fund war and conflicts in the region, although all countries deny that is the case.

So where does all of this coltan end up? Taking it a step further, the European Parliament voted in May to move to ban all products containing conflict minerals.

There has also been a push towards holding mining companies accountable for the integrity and validity of their supply chain. This has led to talks about integrating supply chain due diligence through blockchain and increased government intervention to better monitor and control the sourcing of coltan and its by-product metals.

Even so, companies in the US have so far been slow to change how they handle imports of coltan and other conflict minerals. Coltan mining has also caused significant destruction of gorilla habitats in the DRC.

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Mountain gorilla habitats have also been impacted by the illegal coltan mining and smuggling industry. The ongoing conflict and issues around mining and sourcing coltan have prompted calls to the Congolese government and local leaders to strengthen the conflict minerals law.Coltan is the colloquial name for the mineral columbite-tantalum "col-tan" ; it is sometimes incorrectly used as shorthand for tantalite, a metallic ore from which the very similar elements niobiumalso known as columbium, and tantalum are extracted.

In the early 21st century coltan mining was associated with human rights violations such as child laboursystematic exploitation of the population by governments or militant groups, exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazards as a result of lax environmental protection, and general safety laws and regulations.

The coltan industry is worth tens of millions of dollars a year. The coltan market is characterized by opacity, as supply and trade is based on contracts that do not publish public price references.

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No standards are set or enforced for mining operations and devising safety procedures is the responsibility of mine operators may not prioritize worker well-being. The United Nations has taken an active role in assessing the state of the world's coltan industry and in has cited specifically the DRC as an example of a country where natural resource exploitation, "The flow of arms, exploitation and the continuation of the conflict are inextricably linked.

The UN also considers developed countries that support conflict minerals violators of human rights for allowing the violations to continue rather than fulfilling and promoting the human rights set forth in the Declaration. The UN has declared a right to choose one's employment and has also called safe working conditions a basic human right. In Central Africa, for example, gold mines are typically connected to militias. According to some activists, coltan mines in national reserves often forcibly use indigenous people for their operations.

Twenty years ago it was reported that children as young as twelve were working in some mines. Furthermore, a lack of protective gear, and long working hours were lamented.

coltan africa

Many of the burgeoning coltan producers are resource-rich developing countries with economies that are currently largely dependent on mining non-renewable resources.

This indicates a danger attached to even clean coltan operations in developing countries. Groups that study developing nations such as Oxfam caution against a developing country putting much of its capital into mining operations, especially single mineral developments. In addition to the human rights issues attached to the coltan industry, the mining process itself can be environmentally hazardous. However, while the exact effects of prolonged coltan exposure through dust around particularly artisinal mines have not yet been studied in detail, more DNA damage was found in children living in mining areas than in those from control groups.

Air pollution is also a concern. Some people question the sustainability of artisinal mining, but miners often are very poor and have few other options to earn a living. Coltan mines operate under boom-bust economics and not only strip the mineral from the land, but also cause environmental degradation.

In mining towns that depend on coltan for their wealth, fewer people cultivate the land. Numerous instances of famine related to the mining operations contribute to increasingly unsustainable types for land use.

Besides the harm it does to food security in the eastern Congo, coltan mining is inimical to land uses such as ecotourism, game ranches, and medical research which could possibly provide better incomes and profit from the wildlife and forest land. Mining threatens the national parks across the Congo. Developing nations often go through with mining operations because they need the capital these operations bring without thinking of the environmental impacts. Given that mining is an expensive venture to undertake, the returns are sometimes low.

Civil societies who study developing nations, such as Oxfam, have stated that the cost of mining on the environment can cause nearly permanent environmental damage, [25] which can leave a developing nation permanently poorer, and that support for mining should only be offered in countries that have a clearly defined plan for using the revenue gained from mining for the promotion of public health and infrastructure investments that will eventually allow them to become less resource-dependent.

The World Wide Fund for Nature WWF and the UN advocate for extractive activity to stop in UNESCO World Heritage sites and in proposed protected areas within conservation sites, in areas with last remaining examples of unique ecosystems, and in places where mining threatens the well-being of local communities and indigenous peoples. Rwandan coltan comes mostly from mines in the DRC, usually in the conflict areas adjacent to the Rwandan border.

Only four of the ten largest Rwandan mining companies have taken any measures to verify whether their product is conflict-sourced. About half of exported Rwandan coltan comes from conflict regions in the DRC. Many countries export their raw coltan to China for further processing. The UN reports that many tons of coltan from the DRC are processed through China and are often mixed with samples from conflict-free regions to produce tainted coltan that is more difficult to source.

This practice undermines the efforts made by countries with legislation restricting conflict materials, such as the United States and Canada. In Colombia, the coltan mining industry is involved in numerous internal conflicts and is currently illegal. This has not stopped guerilla forces and militia groups from mining the ore and selling it on the black market or shipping it to China.

The Colombian government has made little attempt to regulate the industry.

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Inplans were announced to auction off the rights to mine coltan in certain areas, but those plans were never completed and were dropped by the current administration.

Colombia's coltan mines are often located in national parks and on indigenous territory, which forces the native population into the mining industry.


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