Coltan: The Mineral Which Creates Technology and Destroys Lives

Coltan: The Mineral Which Creates Technology and Destroys Lives

What is Coltan?

Nowadays we tend to spend most of our time looking at our phone or working on our computer. You might not realize it, but if you have a phone or laptop, you have one of the most valuable minerals in the world in your possession: Coltan.

Simply put, Coltan is a mineral. But it is not just any mineral. This compound consists of a mixture of Tantalum and Columbite, some of the most much-appreciated minerals of our time.

It’s very resistant to acids, transmits electricity rapidly (80 times faster than copper), and supports large loads, so it is used in almost all modern electronic circuit components.

Where do we find it?

Coltan can be found in many places around the world but 80% of it is located in Congo. To mine it, they dig caves in extremely bad conditions. They get it at a very low cost and sell it at a very high price.

The Problem brought by Coltan

Congo is the perfect place to exploit labor. They force people to work in bad conditions and earn poor wages. Afterward, the mineral is introduced in devices worth a small fortune.

Raising Demand

The world keeps developing so it needs more technology but the quantity of Coltan is decreasing. So the demand goes up along with the market value.

The smartphone:  Friend or foe?

Most of us have at least a phone in our possession so we are all responsible for this situation.

How are we destroying ourselves?

All the time we need more technology more often: better communication, find a location, etc. But it is also damaging. It can result in addiction, neck and back strain, loss of independence, sight problems, etc.

The solution!

Reduce our consumption of electronics or find another way to use energy without exploiting the third world. Coltan will run out eventually… then what will we do? Turn back the clock on ‘development’.

At LingoStar we make sure to not waste any resources as every little bit of energy counts. If you need more information or translations, call us today at 604-629-8420 or send us an email at To get a free quote, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!