Child-Slaves Dig Coltan

coltanColtan – Key Element in Electronic Equipment

Coltan stands for Columbite Tantelite, an ore containing a mix of niobium and tantalum. It is the key element in mobile phones, DVD players, laptops, hard drives, and the PS3 – essentially almost any piece of home or industrial electronic equipment. The Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] (formerly Zaire) is extremely rich in Coltan reserves. With rebel warlords mining and selling Coltan to finance the civil war, with the majority of illegally mined Coltan sold to China, the second Congo war has claimed over 5.4 million lives. It is estimated that 2-million child-slaves work from sunrise to sunset to dig Coltan by hand from the soil. Every day hundreds of thousands of Congolese child-slaves are forced to crawl into underground mines on their hands and knees to dig for the essential raw material to make the electronic gadgets listed above. Read more…

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