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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by maveric149. Elementbox converted 11:03, 14 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 09:59, 12 July 2005).

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Tantalum. Additional text was taken directly from USGS Tantalum Statistics and Information, from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table was obtained from the sources listed on the subject page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but was reformatted and converted into SI units.

Congo conflict/ tantalum[edit]

Could someone please write some notes about how this element is the cause of quite a bit of fighting in the Congo? This fighting is a huge problem for the Mountain Gorilla and Bonobo Population, which are critically endangered to begin with. It would be good to show this when people are enquiring about Tantalum. ( 14:45, 10 Mar 2005)

"Cellphones fuel Congo conflict" To view this article visit the following website: ( 01:52, 26 Mar 2005) <- Link doesn't work

I have expanded the already existing sentence about coltan, a little bit. I don't think, however, that this article about the element itself should contain more than one or two sentences which link to other articles with further information. Femto 14:35, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, cell phones are not fueling the conflict, the conflicting parties are a collection of very sorry specimens of humanity and seek any market they can to continue their rape and pillage sprees. Tantalum is just one in a long line of commodities that have been sold from blood drenched hands. TMLutas 18:31, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Does a discussion of Congo's social problems really belong on this page? It doesn't have anything to do with the chemical element itself, only with the fact that some people find it valuable enough to hurt other people over.

Petroleum is a well-known natural resource with far more political connections than tantalum. The Wikipedia entry has only a brief sentence referring to the OPEC crisis of the 1970s. I think the link to the Congo as a producing nation sufficiently allows for someone to find out how a resource is connected to the FIVE MILLION DEATHS in a TEN-YEAR WAR that no power is planning to stop.Ian Weniger (talk) 19:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)Ian Weniger

I'm rather dubious about the following ref: But competing in part through lower prices, the Congo accounted for 50 percent of global supplies by 2008, the last year for which good statistics are available, industry analysts say.

That's way off from what other refs say. Hcobb (talk) 02:34, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but when I followed the link from "The United States Geological Survey reports in its 2006 yearbook that this region produced a little less than 1% of the world's tantalum output for the past four years, peaking at 10% in 2000 and 2008.[30]" I found it was talking about where the tantalum comes from for US usage, not global production - as far as I could tell, but I might have misunderstood, maybe a more precise reference might help? Thanks! Lionfish0 (talk) 10:09, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

World production figures (section Occurence)[edit]

1. A yearbook from 2006 cannot give us trustworthy data about 2008 mining production. So the sentence: "The United States Geological Survey reports in its 2006 yearbook that this region produced a little less than 1% of the world's tantalum output for the past four years, peaking at 10% in 2000 and 2008." should be changed.
2. The data sheets on tantalum by the USGS, which are linked from note 30, contain whereabouts of tantalum imports into the US (p. 1) as well as global production and (estimated) world reserves (p. 2) . World production is shown in absolute figures, not in percentages. However, figures vary considerably and there are a lot of estimated numbers or data N/A. Also, they do not include "production of tantalum in tin slags", whatever that may be. The 2006 data sheet (a pdf file), for example, which must be the one referred to in note 30, states a mine production of 730 tons of tantalum in Australia, considered the biggest producing country, and 60 for "Congo (Kinshasa)" for the 2004. The 2008 sheet gives us 850 tons for Australia in 2006 and 32 in "Other Countries" not further specified. The 2011 sheet states only 81 tons for Australia in 2009, with 162 tons in "Other Countries" which include "Congo (Kinshasa)". Taking into consideration the questionable value of the data, I'd recommend to change the foregoing statement "the coltan mining in Congo is not important for the world supply of tantalum" in the section on as well. I have no better data at hand, but due to the intransparent production conditions in some countries, I doubt you can find any.--León de Vivar (talk) 21:43, 16 January 2012 (UTC)


In case anyone wonders about my "capacitance" edit: it is not correct to say that tantalum has a higher capacitance than other substances (as the pre-edit version did). Capacitance is a property of an electronic component, not of a material; it would be like saying that titanium has a higher velocity than iron. (Sure, if you build a high-performance jet out of it, but...) I substituted what I think the author of that sentence probably meant, which is that tantalum's main electronic application is in capacitors with high capacitance. 21:11, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely makes sense even without an explanation. Femto 17:48, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So, is it toxic or not?[edit]

The article makes much of Tantalum's extremely low reactivity with biological substances (to the point of being used in surgical blades and implants), but then says it should be treated as toxic. Could someone with knowledge in this area resolve this inconsistency or clarify my misunderstanding?

Carbon is one of the most ubiquitous elements of life yet you still need to take standard lab precautions around it because, in certain configurations, it can promote disease (breathing in carbon dust is bad for the lungs for instance). Standard lab precautions are standard because just about anything can be dangerous in certain circumstances. TMLutas 18:34, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Bad edit[edit]

If this belongs somewhere other than the talk page, my apologies, but someone just pulled a prank here. I figured I'd just mention it instead of changing it myself, since there's a page in wikipedia for pranks and all that and I don't know the procedure behind things being sent there. 14:12, 6 November 2006 (UTC) The main point to remember when handling any chemical in the laboratory is the state in which the element is in. The use of acidic flourine compounds is well known to present an immediate health hazard due to decalcification of the bones and corrosive decomposition of the skin (see hydrogen flouride). Refining Tantalum in a laboratory by dissolving it in a water solution may lead to absorption into the skin from spilled liquid. Using a non-soluble form of this element, as with the surgical tools, decreases the chance of absorption into the body. The fact that the element was difficult to isolate in a laboratory (hence it's name) suggests that this is a very stable atom with little chance to absorb into the environment.


Why is "poop is green" appearing near the end of this page? I don't even see how to remove it... 20:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Old vandalism, already reverted. Try refresh your browser cache to see the current page version. Femto 20:34, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

i don't know how to fix it, but in 'applications' there's a whole lot about sex toys that i don't think belongs there. maybe i'm wrong though.

what is I am looking for.[edit]

what is this all about.Tell me a litte about the table. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC).

Try reading the articles linked by the table keys. Femto 15:29, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

draft insert of Yahoo! Video Games Editorial[edit]

"Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms," said Ex-British Parliament Member Oona King." from

How could we possibly know if Oona King said this? Who is Oona King? Why does it matter what Oona King says? It might all be true, but what if someone spun this story?

This is the top headline on Yahoo this minute. It has a picture of the PS2. The article is written by Ben Silverman. If you click on his name it goes to the Yahoo! Video Games Editorial page. Silverman is not listed. Who is Silverman? Silver is also an element. Ben is on $100 bills. How can someone get the top Yahoo! story? MsTopeka (talk) 03:49, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


--Stone (talk) 09:00, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Mining in Colombia[edit]

Tantalum is also produced in Colombia, South America from raw ore rich in tantalite where the largest producer, [Seminole Group Colombia CI, Ltda] (part of Seminole Enterprises Group, Inc) operates mines in Guainia and Vichada Colombia. They produce a commericial grade ore having as much as 45% Ta205 and 7% Nb205, rather impressive. More factual tantalum informtion is available at their official company website located at:

They are new in the business and started 2008, so ore is the last what I expect from the company. The More factual tantalum informtion is a back link to Wikipedia. --Stone (talk) 22:02, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

Can someone clear up this sentence? I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. "Like most of the other refactory metals the forms hasrd and stable nitrides and carbides." --Cygnosis (talk) 02:37, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The sentence reads now: Like most of the other refractory metals, the hardest known compounds are the stable nitrides and carbides. Better?--Stone (talk) 09:54, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Tweaked to "Similar to most other refractory metals, the hardest known compounds of tantalum are its stable nitrides and carbides. " Materialscientist (talk) 10:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Both of these sentences are absurd as written, and reveal muddled thinking; are the metals like or similar to the compounds ? I think not. g4oep

Proposed revisions[edit]

I made some changes to the Nb, Ta and coltan pages back in 2006 and am only now checking them again. As the page is a far cry from the what it was five years ago and looks much better (although not as tidy as the niobium page), I would like to propose material here for discussion first before wading in with changes.

History - I would like to add some further detail on the light bulb use and it would be an interesting anecdote to mention their use on the Titanic.[1]

Occurrence - I would like to make some corrections, e.g.: a) Brazil and Canada provide more than just a "small percentage", quite the opposite! b) the "future sources" are supposedly in order of size, in which they are wrong, plus I could add some more detail c) coltan, the description of the term is incorrect on several counts, e.g. it is artisanal and regional, certainly not industrial; some further context on its link to the DRC conflict

Electronics - simply point out some further advantages particular to tantalum capacitors, e.g. vibration and temperature performance.

Alloys, Other Uses - these could also be tidied up.

Obviously all text would be referenced to books and/or conference papers. Thanks for your feedback. Tanbtech (talk) 11:56, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Go for it. Tantalum bulbs on the Titanic? Cool. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Help is always wanted! I worked a lot on niobium and tantalum in the last three years. So I will have a look on your contributions. The production changed considerable from 2006 till 2011.--Stone (talk) 17:25, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
  1. ^ . doi:10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2010.05.003.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

File:Tantalum single crystal and 1cm3 cube.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Tantalum single crystal and 1cm3 cube.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on February 18, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-02-18. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 11:06, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day

A 1 cm3 cube, crystalline fragments, and a single crystal of tantalum, created by the floating zone process. Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. Its main use today is in tantalum capacitors in electronic equipment.

Photo: Alchemist-hp
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Isotopes link gamma ray or IT?[edit]

See {{infobox tantalum}}, isotopes table. For 180mTa, there is a "(IT)" entry. However, that IT links to page gamma ray. Elsewhere, this IT usually links to isomeric transition or internal conversion. Conversely, a gamma ray link is usually labeled γ. Any improvements possible? (No need to explain the decay processes to me, just go ahead/do nothing as you think good. I'll catch up later). -DePiep (talk) 14:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Changed to link to isomeric transition. Double sharp (talk) 06:39, 21 October 2014 (UTC)


Hello, The introduction to the article says "Tantalum is a rare metal, comprising just 8*10^{-9}% of the universe, making it fifteen times less abundant in the universe than gold (which makes up 6*10^{-8}%)". However, 8*10^{-9}*15 = 12*10^{-8}, not 6*10^{-8}. It wasn't clear whether the abundance of tantalum, abundance of gold, or the "fifteen times less abundant" was incorrect. Can someone verify and edit this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheWurstPuns (talkcontribs) 14:29, 10 April 2015 (UTC)