Pentagon Bans Import Of Tantalum From Communist China, Russia, Iran And North Korea

On August 25th, the US Department of Defense finalized a ban on purchasing rare mental tantalum from North Korea, the Communist China, Russia and Iran, aiming to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign suppliers, according to a report by NK News on Thursday.

The US Department of Defense stated that it is necessary to restrict the import of rare chemical elements for national security reasons, because it is used in a series of sensitive and defense-related technologies, such as high-quality capacitors and jet engines.

The decision came into effect immediately and finalized the interim regulations previously set in 2020 to restrict the import of tantalum.

Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. It is a rare, ductile, graphite gray, shiny transition metal. Tantalum is mainly used for high capacitance capacitors with small size. (Photo Source:

However, the inclusion of North Korea may have little direct impact, because the only known tantalum mine in North Korea may have been inactive since the 1990s and has since been considered economically unavailable.

In addition, customs statistics shows that North Korea has not exported tantalum to its largest trading partner, the Communist China, since at least 2017, indicating North Korea has not found other important deposits.

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