Definition of coltan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkältan/


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


1990s: from col(umbite) + tan(talite).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: col·tan

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