Tantalum is a very rare metal in the Earth’s crust. We use this metal every time we fly, make a phone call, and ride in our cars. Tantalum is used to make electronic parts, heat-resistant glass, automotive catalytic converters, and corrosion-resistant and lightweight metal parts. The list goes on.
Why is tantalum so important?
Tantalum is found in trace amounts especially in Brazil, Central Africa, and Australia. It is non-magnetic, heat- and corrosion-resistant, an insulator, and it can hold an electric charge. It is this last property that is so important
Insulators that can hold an electric charge are called dielectrics. These materials are at the core of a fundamental electronic circuit component called a capacitor. This component is responsible for the ebb, flow, and ultimate control of electricity in circuits ranging from computers to mobile communications.
Without tantalum, the miniaturization of electronic devices, especially in mobile communications, would not have been possible. The tablet I am writing this article on in large part is due to the existence and use of tantalum.
Tantalum and its chemical relative niobium are also used to strengthen lightweight steel. It is this property that is behind ArcelorMittal’s recent announcement of a 29 lb car door. This is significant because an over 34% decrease in the weight of four car doors will improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.
What happens when there’s a tantalum shortage?
Weaker than expected handheld electronics demand and growing inventories in the tantalum supply chain combine to lower tantalum prices and downstream capacitor and parts markets. These conditions in turn can shut down and idle mines.
There are 150 kilotons of tantalum reserves worldwide. The Wodgina mine has capacity to produce over 3.2 million kilograms, or kg, per year. With the shutdown of the Wodgina mine, tantalum comes from Mozambique, Brazil, Congo, and Rwanda.
Swissmetal Inc. offer clients three baskets containing Tantalum: The Key Industries, Construction & Engineering and Defense & Aviation, which makes it now accessible for private investors to purchase and profit from the increase in demand over the years to come. Click here to contact Swissmetal for a free consultation on procurement & storage of this rare industrial metal.
Story Source: The above story was Published by Daily Finance, January 3 2014.