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Blood Coltan

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posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 07:44 AM
Since we don't have a proper thread about coltan, I figured I'd fill that void.

Google Video Link

Another short video.

Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture electronic capacitors, (used in consumer electronics products such as cell phones, DVD players, video game systems and computers). Export of coltan from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to European and American markets has been cited by experts as helping to finance the present-day conflict in the Congo, with the DanChurchAid agency asserting that “much of the finance sustaining the civil wars in Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is directly connected to coltan profits.” An estimated 6.9 million people have died since 1998 in the war in the Congo

Who doesn't have a cell phone nowadays? Sure, the multinationals say they aren't using coltan from the Congo but can we trust them? Since profit is the main goal of a corporation I doubt very much they have stopped using blood coltan.

So where's the connection to Sony? According to Toward Freedom, during the 2000 launch of the PS2, the electronics giant was having trouble meeting consumer demand. To pump out more units, Sony required a significant increase in the production of electric capacitors, which are primarily made with tantalum. This helped drive the world price of the powder from $49/pound to a whopping $275/pound, resulting in the frenzied scouring of the Congolese hills known for being ripe with coltan.

"SONY's PlayStation 2 launch...was a big part of the huge increase in demand for coltan that began in early 1999," he explained. "SONY and other companies like it, have the benefit of plausible deniability, because the coltan ore trades hands so many times from when it is mined to when SONY gets a processed product, that a company often has no idea where the original coltan ore came from, and frankly don't care to know. But statistical analysis shows it to be nearly inconceivable that SONY made all its PlayStations without using Congolese coltan."

I am unsurprised. Anything to make a buck, who cares who gets killed?

Although the countries mentioned above directly exploit coltan, foreign multi-national corporations have been deeply involved in the exploitation of coltan in the Congo. The coltan mined by rebels and foreign forces is sold to foreign corporations. Although, the United Nations in its reports on the Congo do not directly blame the multi-national corporations for the conflict in the Congo, the United Nations does say that these companies serve as “the engine of the conflict in the DRC.”

Coltan changes hands many times, from the children who work the mines all the way to the companies that eventually buy it. So much so that it's difficult to track so we really don't know how much is being bought and used from the Congo.

Children being used to work the mines under the watchful eye of rebel militias. How sad is that? All to fuel a war over, um, exactly what?

Use one of these?

* Cellular phones
* Jet engines
* Rockets
* Cutting tools
* Camera lenses
* X-ray film
* Ink jet printers
* Hearing aids
* Pacemakers
* Airbag protection systems
* Ignition and motor control modules, GPS, ABS systems in automobiles
* Game consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo
* Video cameras
* Digital still cameras

Most likely you will have blood on your hands. I've got blood on mine. I'm no exception as I use some of those items.

Just another sad and ridiculous story. One that has cost around seven million people their lives over the years.

Sources: &pbx=1&fp=eb25b226ce9fcffe

posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 03:00 PM
Bumping this thread since it's been two years since it was written and the US is still at war to fill our tech needs. A thread I just wrote is here:

posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 03:16 PM
reply to post by Jason88

Interesting, as I've never had a thread bumped after such a long time. Anyway, maybe the second time around this will get noticed.

Just another example of how messed up things are. Who doesn't use electronics nowadays? Our needs here affect others in ways we can't even imagine.

posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 03:48 PM
reply to post by TheLoony

Glad to bump this important topic after so many years - I hope it sticks too.

It seems from economic perspective since you wrote this thread, there are just more and more devices now than in 2010, so we must stay at war to keep mining to fill a growing need.

posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 12:16 PM
Wow, ATS i am deeply ashamed of all of you guys, here we have an actual important news thread yet i see EXTREMELY retarded threads like "Why we SHOULD demand war on syria" Or "The 800 Pound Gorilla everyone ignores"
Well how about this, Yearly here in the congo hundreds of gorillas die each year, they are killed and sold as bush meat to the slaves who dig out this bloody rare earth.
And i can't help to feel disgusted at ATS because: there is only 1 thread about this, and 2 because the only thread ever made has been severely ignored, bumped and ignored again. WTF gives ats'ers?
Over 7 million+++ people have died due to the controversies of this ore. Yet nobody except that bumper and the OP seem to give a crap.

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