Leading vertically integrated and conflict-free provider of high performance tantalum metallurgical and powder products to the electronics, aerospace, automotive, chemical manufacturing and other industries.

World’s largest tantalum producer resumes operations

Monday, January 17, 2011

Global Advanced Metals, formerly Talison Tantalum, today announced the reopening of its Wodgina and Greenbushes operations in Western Australia.

Placed on care and maintenance during the global financial crisis in 2008, the operations at Wodgina and Greenbushes contain the world's largest known resources of tantalum used in the production of a wide range of hi-tech products, particularly consumer electronics.

At full strength, the Wodgina operation is capable of producing 1.4 million lbs of tantalum pentoxide annually, almost a third of the world's supply. The initial restart involves 700,000 lbs per annum to be mined at Wodgina and processed at Greenbushes.

Global Advanced Metals crushing and milling infrastructure at Wodgina is currently being used by Atlas Iron for its neighbouring iron ore operations. The company's agreement with Atlas enables it to recommence using and sharing this infrastructure with sufficient capacity to meet the company's needs. Global Advanced Metals already has small existing stockpiles of ore at the site and stocks of processed material at Greenbushes.

Global Advanced Metals halted operations at the end of 2008 due to a combination of the Global Financial Crisis reducing demand for electronics and an increasing amount of conflict material entering the supply chain from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Ellis, said that market conditions and the supply chain had altered significantly during 2010 and the company had secured contracts that enabled it to restart mining and processing.

"There has been strong growth in all sectors of tantalum demand and stockpiles are rapidly diminishing, with Global Advanced Metals the only producer able to fill the supply chain quickly," said Mr Ellis.

"We have also been working very closely with the major electronics companies and supporting international government efforts, particularly the United States, to remove conflict mined material from the supply chain. Consumers do not want material produced in non-ethical conditions in the products they purchase and it is essential that the tantalum industry supports all efforts to remove it from the supply chain.

Global Advanced Metals recently agreed to purchase tantalum pentoxide ore from the Galaxy Lithium mine in Western Australia. Approximately 200,000 lbs over the next five years will be processed at its Greenbushes plant. All material processed and sold by Global Advanced Metals will be mined in Australia.

Mr Ellis said Global Advanced Metals will also remain active in the efforts to keep conflict or illegally mined or transported material out of the supply chain. He said the United States' new Financial Stability Act, which was signed into law on 21 July 2010, was a major step forward as American companies are now required to disclose if their products contain tantalum sourced from the DRC.

"Because of the Financial Stability Act and the work that the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) has undertaken to educate the industry about conflict mined materials, we are seeing a marked increase in the demand for responsible supplies of tantalum," Mr Ellis said.

More information on Global Advanced Metals and tantalum is available at www.globaladvancedmetals.com

For more information:
Bryan Ellis
Chief Executive Officer
Global Advanced Metals
Email: bellis@globaladvancedmetals.com

Anthony Hasluck
Managing Director
Clarity Communications (Western Australia)
Tel: +618 9380 0700
Mob: 0438 522 194
Email: anthony.hasluck@claritycommunications.com.au

Return to Previous Location »