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  1. #1

    Blood Coltan used in mobile phones and computers

    The mobile (cell) phone is a remarkable piece of engineering. But look inside. There's blood in this machine. There's blood in this device because your mobile contains tiny electronic circuits, and they couldn't work without mineral called COLTAN. It's mined in the eastern Congo. There is blood here, the blood of Congolese who are dying in a terrible conflict.

    The West's demand for Coltan, used in mobile phones and computers, is funding the killings in Congo. Under the close watch of rebel militias, children as young as ten work the mines hunting for this black gold. 'Blood Coltan' exposes the web of powerful interests protecting this blood trade. Meet the powerful warlords who enslave local population and the European businessmen who continue importing Coltan, in defiance of the UN.
    After blood diamonds, now it is blood in electronic devises, please watch this documentary...

  2. #2
    Interesting documentary and worth watching. The Congo is not the only place where coltan is mined. It is found in many places, including Australia, Brazil, China, Thailand, and Canada. Coltan is used to produce tantalum capacitors. This is a cheap capacitor used in lots of electronic devices.

    The Congo is just one of several countries that produces coltan. Yep, the injustices in the Congo are tragedies, just like other slave labor tragedies we see throughout Africa. African countries have a history of brutality that far outweighs almost anything that we see in civilized countries.

    The problems with the Congo are political and economic, but mining coltan is one of the few ways that a poor, backward country can survive. If the world stopped buying coltan from the Congo, their problems with poverty and brutality would only get worse.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    The problems with the Congo are political and economic, but mining coltan is one of the few ways that a poor, backward country can survive. If the world stopped buying coltan from the Congo, their problems with poverty and brutality would only get worse.
    Another country abandoned by the UN and peace keepers. If the mines exploitation were well organized by their government and the western industrial corporation, it will benefit the people and help them to build their infrastructure if only a small percentage of the total exportation were allocated to it.

    I think it is the role of the UN aka the international community to help and educated the people from under developed countries, so they could have a chance to get out of the poverty.

  4. #4
    What is Coltan?

    You may not have heard of coltan, but you have it in your cell phone, laptops, pagers and other electronic devices. It is important to everyday communication in the United States, but it is making the conflict in Congo more complicated.

    What Is Coltan?

    Columbite-tantalite — coltan for short — is a dull metallic ore found in major quantities in the eastern areas of Congo. When refined, coltan becomes metallic tantalum, a heat-resistant powder that 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, laptops, pagers and many other electronics. The recent technology boom caused the price of coltan to skyrocket to as much as $400 a kilogram at one point, as companies such as Nokia and Sony struggled to meet demand.

    How Is Coltan Mined?

    Coltan is mined through a fairly primitive process similar to how gold was mined in California during the 1800s. Dozens of men work together digging large craters in streambeds, scraping away dirt from the surface in order to get to the coltan underground. The workers then slosh water and mud around in large washtubs, allowing the coltan to settle to the bottom due to its heavy weight. A good worker can produce one kilogram of coltan a day.

    Coltan mining is very well paid in Congo terms. The average Congolese worker makes $10 a month, while a coltan miner can make anywhere from $10 to $50 a week.

    Financing the Conflict

    A highly controversial U.N. Security Council report recently outlined the alleged exploitation of natural resources, including coltan, from Congo by other countries involved in the current war. There are reports that forces from neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi are involved in smuggling coltan from Congo, using the revenues generated from the high price of coltan to sustain their efforts in the war. By one estimate, the Rwandan army made at least $250 million over a period of 18 months through the sale of coltan, even though no coltan is mined in Rwanda. All countries involved in the war deny exploiting Congo's natural resources.

    Environmental Consequences

    In order to mine for coltan, rebels have overrun Congo's national parks, clearing out large chunks of the area's lush forests. In addition, the poverty and starvation caused by the war have driven some miners and rebels to hunt the parks' endangered elephants and gorillas for food. In Kahuzi Biega National Park, for example, the gorilla population has been cut nearly in half, from 258 to 130.
    Tracing the Source

    The path that coltan takes to get from Central Africa to the world market is a highly convoluted one, with legitimate mining operations often being confused with illegal rebel operations, and vice versa, making it difficult to trace the origin. To be safe, in recent months many electronics companies have publicly rejected the use of coltan from anywhere in Central Africa, instead relying on their main suppliers in Australia. American-based Kemet, the world's largest maker of tantalum capacitors, has asked its suppliers to certify that their coltan ore does not come from Congo or bordering countries. But it may be a case of too little, too late. Much of the coltan illegally stolen from Congo is already in laptops, cell phones and electronics all over the world.
    What Is Coltan? - ABC News

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