Exploration and development projects
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, United Materials Congo SARL (“UNITED MATERIALS” or “UMC”), Tantalex is the owner of several important land packages rich in Tantalum deposits, located in the province of Katanga, DRC. Through strategic agreements with experienced and reputable sub-contractors, Tantalex receives in exclusivity the entirety of the Tantalum Pentoxide concentrate (Ta205) produced by these sub-contractors. The Company then proceeds to the processing and/or sale of the mineral to clients in industries fuelled large demand of such minerals.
Agreement with La Cooperative Minière LUBI (“CML”)
Tantalex announced June 30, 2016 that CML will become a sub-contractor to UMC, and as such, will supply UMC exclusively to the entirety of the Ta205 it produces. This is an important and symbolic agreement, as CML has a longstanding reputation and extensive experience mining Tantalum. It is one of the largest cooperatives in the region, employing several thousand employees. Furthermore, the signing of this agreement establishes Tantalex as a trustworthy, and credible partner, as well as the preferred company to do business with.
Agreement with La COMIPAK
Tantalex announced July 11, 2016 that COMIPAK will become a sub-contractor to UMC, and as such, will supply UMC exclusively to the entirety of the Tantalum concentrate it produces. We are very quickly consolidating significant and reliable sources of Tantalum Pentoxide (Ta205) within the region of Katanga, a region that is rich in this valuable resource and that has a friendly mining jurisdiction, as well as a safe and equitable work environment.
Tantalum is a rare metal that is corrosion-resistant and is extraordinarily resistant to heat and wear. Added to metals to create superalloys, it’s invaluable to the aerospace industry. Its properties render it important to the medical field for uses such as laboratory equipment. Most importantly, tantalum is a crucial component in the electronics industry, used first and foremost in the creation of tantalum capacitors, found in cellphones, DVD players, computers and many other applications. It accounts for more than half of global Tantalum consumption.
Tantalum is a high value market, with 99.9% min. metal trading at more than US$500/kg during the second half of 2012. It is, however, not large in tonnage terms. Demand peaked during the internet bubble of 2000 and reached an estimated 2,300t. Demand in later years has been rather lower and was in the range of 1,600-1,700tpy between 2005 and 2007. The recent peak in demand was in 2008, when an estimated 1,855t were consumed. The global economic downturn had a major impact on demand for tantalum, which fell overall by 40% in 2009, to 1,125t. No segment of the tantalum market was left untouched, although the individual decreases varied considerably (23% to 49%). There was strong recovery in 2010, when an estimated 1,765t were consumed, before the market eased in 2011. When available, data for 2012 will probably show stagnant demand, at best. A return to slow but steady growth in demand is probable from 2013 onward, with a level of about 2,000t possibly being reached in 2016. (source: Mining Metals Trade Association).