Friday, July 25, 2008

Sony PS2 and Coltan

Several people sent me this today - the story of Sony's demand for Coltan and how it intensified conflict in the DRC and Rwanda.

As usual in these cases, the Nigeria component remains hidden. There's loads and loads of coltan in Nigeria (as there is gold and gemstones, including diamonds I am told). There's probably a thriving and hidden trade in Nigerian coltan in operation. Where are the intrepid journalists when you need them?


Anonymous,  5:28 pm  

bbc's anna borzello made a great film on this issue a few years back, when it was the mobile telecoms boom which was sending congolese coltan through the roof. bet you anything there isn't any coming out of nigeria though. it's a sign of how hard it is to actually do any industry in this country that people would prefer to go to the DRC for it. Although there they have the added advantage of not having to pay taxes.

anonymaus,  5:52 pm  

Diamonds in Nigeria?!
The closest diamond bearing state to Nigeria is as far as I'm aware of is Cameroun.

& here

Who told you this about diamonds in Nigeria?

Jeremy 7:54 pm  

Naturally, I cannot reveal my sources. But I will give you a parallel example: how many people thought there was much gold in Nigeria? We now know there's masses of the stuff all across the North..

There's also probably a lot of oil in the Borno-Chad basin, its just they haven't found it yet..

anonymaus,  3:10 am  

The only thing that Nigerians are aware of is that the country exports energy and that's about it. People generally restrict their knowledge to their own localities and then believe sweeping generalisations about other regions of the country.

Once you start talking about mineral deposits, then the usual finger pointing and parasitic accusations start flying and it all degenerates into the dismantling of the country.

As for the gold, I was aware of that a long time back, there was a Nigerian student (from Ondo state) at Cardiff University who was carrying out a Phd into that, he had samples from Itakpe. The gold is in a schist belt that starts from Itakpe and runs up to Kaduna state. Gold has even been found in Kebbi state also.

See here:

As for the oil, it is feasible, as they have struck oil in Southern Chad and now the Niger Repbulic

But diamonds, hmmm, that has yet to substantiated. I hope your friend is a good geologist (as opposed to adding a megadose salt to his assertion).

By the way, I didn't expect you to reveal their name either in public or private. I was questioning that claim , my apologies. Thanks for answering the question.

Akin 12:24 pm  


Coltan, amazing stuff, imagine, I am only now finding out what it really is.

As a kid we lived in Rayfield, Jos and my father worked for the Amalgamated Tin Mines of Nigeria.

With a friend we used to ride out into the "outback" to the operating mines where the men gave us samples of tin, columbite and coltan.

I could remember my aunt giving me the frights for bringing the stuff back home where the police could arrest all of us.

There sure is coltan in Nigeria as a by-product of tin-mining and the locals did know about it then, whether it is still being mined is another thing.

The ecological damage of the landscape then results in what was wrongfully called a paddock (they were not fenced farms but large deep holes left by mining and excavation filled with water) - my mother almost ended up in one but was held back by a tree trunk - memories.

Thanks for the information.


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