The metal tantalum (Ta) is becoming increasingly valued due to its use in modern technology such as mobile phones and tablets. The major application of this metal is in tantalum capacitors, which have unrivaled performance-for-size and high reliability. Ta is typically hosted in columbite-group minerals (CGMs), which are also known colloquially as “coltan” (columbite-tantalite) in Central Africa. Economic deposits of Ta are rare, and commercial production of the metal comes from a limited number of countries, hence leading to the classification of Ta as a “strategic resource” (Linnen et al. 2012). Significant production of Ta originates from war-torn...

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