Rwanda is hosting the 59th Annual General Assembly of the Tantalum-Niobium, an event that attracts around 150 major actors in the tantalum and niobium industry supply chain from over 25 countries.
The high-level conference which is taking place From today, October 14 to 17 in Kigali, will explore different tantalum issues such as technological developments in tantalum and niobium applications, key factors affecting tantalum and niobium consumption in its core markets, due diligence essentials ahead of the EU’s conflict mineral regulation coming into force in January 2020.
This year’s event will be attended by all relevant global players and among the highlights will be the Annual General Meeting (AGM), Technical Sessions for technical presentations, a visit to a working artisanal tantalite mine, site seeing tours and the welcome cocktails.
Commenting on the conference, the RMB Chief Executive Officer Hon. Francis Gatare said: “We are delighted to have this conference in Rwanda. It comes in the time we are carrying out transformational change in the mining sector. It is an opportunity to show investors in the mining sector that Rwanda is open to investments that would lead to professional exploration and mining to boost productivity of tantalum and other minerals in the country.”
Rwanda is among the top producers of tantalum ore producing more than 60% of the needed quantity onto the global market.
Tantalum products are used in electronics including; cell phones, computers, automotive electronics, jet engine components, and nuclear reactors.
Rwanda’s tantalum ore is exported to external buyers, over 2,000 tons were produced and exported for the period of July 2017 to June 2018. Most of the Rwanda’s tantalum is mined in a mixture form with cassiterite-a tin ore. However, most of this tantalum is obtained after carrying out separation of coltan from cassiterite (tin). In 2018, tantalum production is expected to exceed 2,500 tons.
WHAT IS TIC?
The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Centre (T.I.C.) was established in 1973 in response to concerns within the tantalum industry regarding the lack of useful information on tantalum source materials. The initial purpose of the T.I.C. was to spread information about tantalum and to promote the common interest and welfare of the producers, especially with public and private authorities, organisations and agencies.
- An international, non-profit association founded in 1974 under Belgian law.
- Around 95 members from over 25 countries involved with all aspects of the tantalum and niobium industry supply chain (mining, trading, processing, metal fabrication, capacitor manufacturing, recycling, other end-users such as medical, aerospace…)
- Managed by an Executive Committee representing all segments of the industry.
- Increase awareness and promote the remarkable properties of tantalum and niobium.
- Organize a general assembly of the membership in October each year for business and technical presentations. The location is chosen so that a tour of a member company or industry associated facility in the area may be included in the programme. Guests may attend.
- Organize a longer symposium in October about every five years for business and technical presentations, sometimes with a tour of a member company or industry associated facility in the area.
- Publish a quarterly Bulletin, in electronic format.
- Collect from the members (via an independent company to ensure confidentiality), statistics on raw material production, processors’ receipts and product shipments, and capacitor producers’ receipts for tantalum, while for niobium raw material production and processors’ product shipments are collected. Report consolidated data to the membership on a quarterly basis.
- Address major issues and challenges facing its industry such as conflict minerals’ legislation, artisanal and small-scale mining, transport of radioactive materials…