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Coltan (short for columbite–tantalites and known industrially as tantalite) is a dull black metallic ore from which are extracted the elements niobium and tantalum. The niobium-dominant mineral in coltan is columbite (after niobium’s original American name columbium), and the tantalum-dominant mineral is the tantalite.
Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture tantalum capacitors which are used for mobile phones, personal computers, automotive electronics, and cameras.
1. What is coltan? It’s where tantalum and niobium come from
The mineral coltan is one of the resources that is playing an important role in the technological revolution. Coltan ore itself is a vessel for technology minerals tantalum and niobium.