Contaminated or pure a challenge lies ahead

Coltan mining may not be subject you have been familiar to however, you might be using the products that carry traces of coltan. The name suggests Colton is a hybrid of two minerals that is Columbite and tantalite

Columbite holds the element columbium and tantalite is the major source of tantalum. The columbite is mainly mined and extracted from the Brazilian and Canadian regions serving as the chief raw material in the fabrication of specific kind of steel

While tantalum on the other hand hold higher heat resistant qualities good conductor of electricity, its serves as the key material in capacitors implied in several electronic products ranging from game tools, work stations and cellphones

The major mining of tantalum is carried in Brazilian region and DRC with further mining in the regions of Mozambique, China and Nigeria. Since the mining of tantalum in The Republic of Congo is sufficient however, the political influence and economics adjoin the mining jobs for three Ts’ that are tantalum, tungsten and tin since the great region of Africa have been pierced with ferocity and exploitation. The never-ending war for gaining power among the law regulating authority, protestors and pressure groups has for number of years translated the potential mineral is high in demand to ignite and fuel ferocity.

Thousands lost their lives in these exploitations leading to higher environmental damage yet the things have been regulated as international bodies has taken lead and focused on the discords. Though, a several illegal operations are still conducted and a higher payments are made to continue the same war and violence


Since mining of tantalum in the regions of congo is not a new operation and dates back to several decades and also know across the world as the mining of artisan, the job is carried using lesser tools than picks, pans and shovels. Some workers make use of their bare hands to excavate and remove soil to find the traces of coltan. The mining jobs are meagre however involves a hundreds of workers toiling the muddy soil in vessels and in streams

The work is done using little other than picks, shovels and pans. Some simply use their bare hands to dig and sift the soil in search of bits of coltan. The mining operations are small, but may involve hundreds of men working watery soil in buckets or in streams of water

Exportation of Coltan from the regions of Congo

Once delivered to the transportation means, the bags of coltan reaches the trading markets and potential coltan buyers and finally cross boundaries with certain countries including Uganda, Burundi making journeys to port such as Mombasa, Tanzania and Kenya. However, in routing coltan from the borders of DRC to Rwanda have induced the respective country forces to make a false claim of producing higher amounts of coltan from their very own mines. However, the truth resides in that Rwandan reserves of coltan are not enough plentiful to claim for the certain assertion

Handling, excavation and refinement

From the African regions and ports the ships transport the minerals to the southern regions of Asia touching the countries such as Thailand, and china also Malaysia and India.

Once these raw minerals are processed the plants the extracts the purest forms of ore that is sourced from not only the African regions but also from many other countries coltan suppliers across the globe. Hence the combination of material leads to challenging extraction and identification of the final product that is its origin and declaration of conflict free or contaminated


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