Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials


What is coltan?

Coltan is the shortened name for the metallic ore columbite-tantalite. When refined it becomes a heat-resistant powder, tantalum, which 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, laptop computers, pagers, and other electrical devices.


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