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Talison´s mine shuts: black clouds over the horizon

December 26, 2008

(found in Congo Resources)

Talison Minerals announced last November 26th that it is suspending mining at the world’s largest tantalum operation at Wodgina, Western Australia, from early December 2008.

These are obviously magnificent news for some people in North Kivu: warlords, murderers, war criminals, genociders, corrupt politicians, bribed douane clerks and the myriad of businnessemen without scruples profiting from coltan trade. As a result of Talison´s move, they will all earn more money. So they will all feel very much encouraged to keep on running the business as usual mafia trend this war has taken in recent years.

On the contrary, these news are a great blow for the millions of women, children and men that have sufferd this war for far too long. Many have lost their loved ones. Too many women have been brutally raped, and continue to be. Others have seen how their sons have become child soldiers. Youngsters hide in the bush for days to avoid forced recruitment by armed groups. Men are forced to work for armed groups, and are treated like animals, or worse. And almost all of them have suffered the looting of their belongings.

They are far beyond the feeling of being fed up. They want this nightmare to finish once and for all. Forever.

But the price of tantalum is going to increase.

Talison reasons (explained in a media release) are twofold: the lower demand for tantalum due to the global financial crisis; and a second, much disturbing reason:

The second factor is a long-term and increasing trend to reduce material costs in the electronics supply chain, which strongly encourages increased tantalum supply from Central Africa, and particularly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

So basically, Talison is saying that they are not the bad guys. The bad guys are those who KNOWINGLY buy tantalum from North Kivu because it is much cheaper, while people in Europe (the final consumer, you, dear reader, and me) know absolutely nothing about all this.

The consumer in Europe just wants a quality device at an affordable price. Very few questions are being raised, by very few people, minorities like people who read blogs like this.

Something here is not working. Don´t you think?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Virgil permalink
    January 5, 2009 4:14 am

    This is very disturbing indeed… I have read that although the DRC has the world’s largest reserves of tantalum, at present it makes up only 2 percent of the world market. As you point out, this development means that the DRC’s share is set to rise together with all the plunder, looting and all the misery that goes with it. Meanwhile the mainstream press (who are firmly attached to their policymakers and multinational corporaitons) will continue either to ignore the ensuing conflict, or write it off as ‘chaos’ or ‘tribal warfare’. They may call it a ‘scramble for resources’, but that will be as far as it will go. How to overcome this…

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