Supplies of Tantalum Ore to AVX and KEMET Not Affected by Dar es Salaam Mineral Thefts; Ore has been Recovered

February 14, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

AVX Corporation and KEMET Corporation have both announced that they have not been affected by the mineral thefts that have taken place in and around the Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam, which are reportedly impacting the global supply of tantalite.

“AVX has a longstanding policy of maintaining considerable stocks of validated conflict-free raw tantalum materials to ensure that occasional disruptions in the tantalum supply chain, like this one, have zero impact on our customers,” said Pete Venuto, Vice President of Sales at AVX.

“KEMET has taken significant actions over the past two years to develop a closed-pipe, vertically integrated conflict free tantalum supply line,” stated Per Loof, KEMET’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are now involved in the process from the sourcing of the tantalum ore all the way through to the delivery of capacitors to our customers. This helps to safeguard our supply from these types of issues, which in turn provide greater stability for our customers,” continued Loof.

Five people, including a Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) official, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the theft of minerals due for export, Tanzania's Daily News reported yesterday. A police search found the suspects with 44 tons of tantalite minerals due for export to Italy. The cargo contained a forged permit valuing the minerals at about $22,000, but the real value of the mineral is over $90/pound, which would place the value of the ore shipment at more than $9.1 million.