Definition of coltan in English:


Pronunciation /ˌkɒltan/ /ˈkältan/ /ˈkɑltæn/


  • A dull metallic mineral composed of columbite and tantalite, and refined to produce tantalum.

    ‘Thousands of Grauer's mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants have been slaughtered for food by illegal miners searching for coltan, a mineral containing metals like tantalum and niobium, used in cellphones and computers.’
    • ‘With the cell phone industry booming, the park's resources and wildlife are under massive strain from miners seeking colombo-tantalite, also known as coltan or tantalum.’
    • ‘But cell phones also include coltan, a mineral extracted in the deep forests of Congo in central Africa, home to the world's endangered lowland gorillas.’
    • ‘Congo is one of the world's greatest sources of the mineral coltan.’
    • ‘As well as gold and diamonds, the region is a source of the rare mineral coltan used in mobile phones.’


1990s from columbite+ tantalite.