Changing The World Through Tantalum

Back in December, AVX Corp. announced that its current tantalum powder and wire suppliers were in compliance with the Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFS). This initiative had been undertaken to combat mineral looting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the proceeds of which are typically used to support war efforts within the country (for more, read “Look For Positive Changes” in the January issue of Microwaves & RF).

As a follow-up, AVX has now shipped what is being billed as the world’s first tantalum products manufactured from validated conflict-free tantalite ore mined in the DRC. This first shipment is the result of Solutions for Hope, an initiative launched by Motorola Solutions (the recipient of the shipment). This initiative demonstrates a process for delivering conflict-free tantalum material from the DRC under the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and is in full compliance with CFS.

The basis of the process is an AVX-controlled and -funded “closed pipe.” Tantalite ore is mined from government-approved concessions within the Katanga Province of the DRC (see photo). It is then traced along its secure closed supply chain to the end customer’s equipment in the form of tantalum capacitors. The Solutions for Hope project enables companies to meet the requirements of the impending Dodd-Frank legislation, which states that US companies must fully disclose the use of certain minerals (including tantalum) in their products, as well as describe the purchasing process used.

Editor’s Note: For more information about Solutions for Hope, visit

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