Coltan The Blood Mineral Of The Tech Industry

In a network connected world we enjoy a level of advanced technology and interconnectedness  that would have been considered science fiction just a few short decades ago but our modern technology often comes at a price. Coltan is a valuable mineral used in our most advanced technologies, from smart phones to fighter aircraft. When refined Coltan becomes metallic tantalum renowned for its heat resistant properties and its ability to hold an electric charge. It is used in the manufacture of tantalum capacitors found in numerous high-tech electronic devices. The 21st century technology boom is largely responsible for the skyrocketing price of the mineral. Coltan is mined by hand in the Democratic Republic of Congo and while the average Congolese laborer makes just ten dollars a month, Coltan miners can make up do fifty dollars a week.  Profits from the Coltan trade cause and simultaneously funds conflicts in the DRC. The documentary “Blood Coltan” explores the tremendous human cost of our technological world.

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