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Why is coltan a conflict mineral?
However, in the DRC the situation is very different and this explains in part why Coltan is connected to conflict there. Nest explains; Weak state institutions are incapable of enforcing property rights or contracts. Production of coltan is carried out by low-paid artisanal and small-scale miners in isolated mines.
How did conflict coltan get their name?
The name Coltan is derived from columbite–tantalite, known industrially as tantalite, with tantalum (Ta) as the principle chemical element. Tantalum (coltan) is currently classified as a conflict mineral along with tin (cassiterite), tungsten (wolramite) and gold.
What is the meaning of conflict minerals?
Conflict Minerals refer to raw materials or minerals that come from a particular part of the world where conflict is occurring and affects the mining and trading of those materials. These minerals are used in a wide range of products including mobile phones, computers, jewelry and vehicles.
Why is coltan controversial?
Coltan controversy: Phone component illegally mined, hurts environment, people. The three firms last week said they cannot be sure whether or not illegally mined columbite-tantalite-known also as coltan and tantalum-is used in the hundreds of millions of cell phones they’ve sold throughout the world.
What is coltan English?
Coltan (short for columbite–tantalites 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 American name columbium), and the tantalum-dominant mineral is the tantalite.
What countries have coltan?
As of 2018, coltan’s main producers are Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Brazil and China. Australia, Canada and Mozambique are also important players. Thus, the task of supplying world coltan needs has fallen largely on conflict regions and underdeveloped countries.
Who owns the coltan mines in the Congo?
Talison Lithium, 51\% owned by Chinese company Tianqi Lithium Industries, Inc. (SZSE:002466) and 49\% by the US-based Albemarle Corporation, will continue to mine lithium at Greenbushes in parallel with the GAM tantalum operation.
Is coltan a conflict mineral?
The term “conflict minerals” is defined as columbite-tantalite, also known as coltan (from which tantalum is derived); cassiterite (tin); gold; wolframite (tungsten); or their derivatives; or any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of …
Why are conflict minerals used?
Conflict minerals are resources that are mined and used to influence and finance armed conflict, human rights abuses, and violence.
What does coltan look like?
When did coltan mining start?
Coltan is mined using techniques developed for gold mining in the 1800s.
Where does Apple get its coltan?
First in the chain of coltan distribution is the physical extraction of the mineral from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The majority of the coltan comes from its eastern mines, which often are fought over and can have questionable ownership.
What is conflict coltan and conflict diamonds?
Local war lords often force (as in intimidate, coerce, enslave, etc.) people to mine Coltan, gold, or diamonds, and use this to support themselves. “Conflict Coltan”, like conflict diamonds, is the product of these areas at war, and is often the result of slavery or theft.
Why is there a war over coltan?
Today, the metallic ore columbite-tantalum — colloquially referred to as coltan — remains at the centre of the conflict, after the rise of digital technology exacerbated the demand for the mineral, fostering internal power struggles. Coltan is indispensable to the creation of all modern technological devices.
Where does coltan come from?
Coltan is found in the DRC (the Congo, also known as Zaire) which has had persistent civil war and violence since the 1960s (yes—50 years) when the area was used for proxy conflicts between the West and Communism. Note that the conflicts (plural) in this area have been going on long before cell phones,…
What is the coltan industry and why is it dangerous?
In addition to exacerbating conflicts, the coltan industry poses long term environmental and health risks, and contributes to rampant human rights abuses like child labour. According to the WHO, high levels of coltan exposure can cause long term health problems, particularly for children who are often recruited to work in these mines.