Photo series on ‘Blood Coltan’

20 Nov 2011

Coltan, short for columbite-tantalite, is a crucial component for the manufacturing of devices as mobile phones, computer chips and missiles.

Around 80% of the world’s coltan is thought to be in the Congo. Sony’s launch of its PlayStation 2, in 2000, caused the unit price of coltan to skyrocket from US $49 to US $275 per pound within weeks. These high prices have been cited as a potent force driving the seemingly endless conflict tearing the Congo apart.

Sven Torfinn has posted impressive pictures of ‘Blood Coltan’, stating:

‘After Africa’s so-called “blood diamonds” had come under increased scrutiny, culminating in a certification scheme intended to guarantee that diamonds come from non-conflict regions, a similar process is now being developed to determine coltan’s provenance.’

More information about the world of conflict and devastation that lies behind our daily used technologies via Make IT Fair.