What is tantalite/tantalum?

Tantalite (or coltan) is a naturally occurring oxide; the main ore and source of oxides and metallic tantalum
Tantalum is the refined elemental metal (although mostly used as high purity oxides)

Its key attributes include: excellent electrical characteristics, extremely high melting point, forgiving in all types of weather conditions, strong alloying and high resistance to corrosion.
Tantalum’s unique physical and chemical properties are expected to ensure high usage in new technologies and has been in our materials since the early 1800’s

Major Uses
Tantalite, or coltan, is a key component in the building of electronic capacitors, which without this mineral, many electronic devices around the world would stop. In particular, Tantalum is used in;

  • Computers
  • Telecommunications
  • Mobile Phones
  • Gaming
  • LCD TV
  • Automotive
  • Military/Aerospace

In addition to this, when alloyed with other metals, tantalum is used in fabricating carbide tools for metalworking equipment, jet engine components, chemical process equipment, nuclear reactors and missile parts and is widely used in automotive electronics such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS), navigation systems, wheel traction control, airbag inflation, engine management and fuel economy.

Other Uses

Fabrication of surgical instruments and implants

Chemical reaction vessels and pipes for corrosive liquids

Heat exchanging coils

Fabrication of high refractive index glass for camera lenses

Production of vacuum furnace parts

Fabrication of components for chemical plants, nuclear power plants, airplanes and missiles