Posted on :Wednesday , 14th March 2018
The government officials as well as AB Minerals and Destiny Minerals and Agriculture Consultant (DMAC) representatives met here recently to discuss a project for a plant that will be constructed in Dar es Salaam to add value to tantalum and niobium. It is known that Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria will be major importers of the minerals as they are major producers of tantalum and niobium in Africa.
The meeting was attended by Minerals minister Angellah Kairuki, minerals commissioner Benjamin Mchwampaka, his deputy Latifa Mtoro and well as AB and DMCA representatives Frank Balestra and Vimbai Chakanestra.
According to Frank Balestra, internationally, there is significant interest in niobium, which is used in the production of high-strength low-alloy steels and tantalum, which is widely used in the manufacture of electronics and superalloys.
Coltan is one of the most important minerals. The value of coltan can be significantly increased through smelting and separating the minerals in the facility.
On a related statement from the DMAC, "This eco-friendly coltan heralds the dawn in the African economic transformation narrative where our dream for a socio-economically transformed Africa through our natural resources becomes a reality."
Tantalum is used in the electronics industry for capacitors and high power resistors. It is also used to make alloys to increase strength, ductility and corrosion resistance. The metal is used in dental and surgical instruments and implants, as it causes no immune response.
Niobium is used in arc welding rods for some stabilized grades of stainless steel and in anodes for cathodic protection systems on some water tanks, which are then usually plated with platinum. Its chemical properties are very similar to those of tantalum.
Tantalum and niobium are almost always found together, and are recovered from pegmatite veins in granite intrusions or from placer deposits. Tantalum is also mined in Nigeria and Mozambique.
The project is scheduled to start in the near future once the relevant officials of Ministry of Minerals approve it.