Tantalum is a rare metal used to produce micro-electronic capacitors that are found in cellphones, laptops, digital cameras and dozens of other electronic devices. It is favoured because of its high capacitance—its ability to hold and release electrical energy. Tantalum is also used in the aerospace, medical and nuclear power sectors.
At this time, major suppliers of Tantalum, have either shut down their operations or exhausted their supplies. The world now depends largely on ‘unethically’ mined tantalum coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
With this backdrop, Canadian-based Commerce Resource Corp. is one company trying to get a foothold in the industry. Their Blue River Project is in the developmental stage and hopes to start commercial production to supply ethically-mined primary tantalum within two to four years.