|Fact on Coltan|
|Tantalite ((Fe, Mn)(Ta, Nb)2O6
: Iron Manganese Tantalum Niobium Oxide) is the most widespread
tantalum mineral and makes for an important ore of the industrially
useful metal. Tantalum (Ta) is a gray, heavy, and extremely hard metal.
When pure, it is ductile and can be drawn into fine wire, which is used
as a filament for evaporating metals such as aluminum. Tantalum is
almost completely immune to chemical reaction at temperatures low
temperatures (sub-150 degrees C), and is reactive only with hydrofluoric
acid, acidic solutions containing the fluoride ion, and free sulfur
trioxide. At higher temperatures, Tantalum becomes much more reactive
though it has a melting point exceeded only by Tungsten and Rhenium.
Tantalum is used to make a variety of alloys with desirable properties
such as extremely high melting points, extreme strength, good ductility,
etc. Tantalum has good "gettering" ability at high temperatures, and
tantalum oxide films are stable with good rectifying and dielectric
Tantalum is used mainly in the manufacture of condensers and micro-electronic technology (chips and processors), cell phones and nuclear reactors. It is also used in the production of steel varieties having a high heat tolerances, like those used in the engines of aircraft. Whereas it was formerly only one secondary product of the exploitation of Tin, Tantalum became today, under the terms of its specific characteristics, a very required element.