Just a clip from a news article… Tantalum was discarded as a byproduct of tin smelting decades ago but the electronics boom has boosted its value… Tantalum fever has gripped Butterworth in northern Penang where poor diggers work day and night to unearth the metallic element used to make components for mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices. The story is actually about a tunnel collapsing under a car showroom where a tin smelting plant used to be (killing three people), but I thought it was an excellent example of how something we toss away in one process later on becomes useful in another – just took a little time to figure that out.

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