Coltan (short for columbite-tantalite and known industrially as tantalite) is a dull black metallic ore from which the elements niobium (formerly 'columbium') and tantalum are extracted. The niobium-dominant mineral in coltan is columbite, and the tantalum-dominant mineral is tantalite. Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture tantalum capacitors, used in electronic products. Coltan mining has been cited as helping to finance serious conflict, for example in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Approximately 71% of global tantalum supply in 2008 was met by newly mined product, 20% from recycling, and the remainder from tin slag and inventory. Tantalum minerals are mined in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Tantalum is also...'
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