Sourcing Tantalum From Non-Allied Nations Prohibited: DoD Interim Rule
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Sourcing Tantalum From Non-Allied Nations Prohibited: DoD Interim Rule

Sourcing Tantalum From Non-Allied Nations Prohibited: DoD Interim Rule

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Defense ("DoD") issued an interim rule that will require DoD contractors to cease supplying tantalum originally sourced in various forms from adversarial foreign suppliers in a specified list of nations. The latest DoD order is upheld by Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd (GAM) (a conflict-free tantalum producer) by recognizing the importance of secure and sustainable production of tantalum from trusted producers.
GAM's operations — from mine to finished product — are fully compliant under DoD's new rule (DFARS 225.7018) that restricts the department from purchasing tantalum oxides, metals, and alloys which were derived at nearly any point in the supply chain from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The rule formally implements a national security measure, signed into law last year, designed to limit DoD's exposure to non-allied sources for tantalum. Prized for its unique properties and uses in key defense technologies, tantalum is a designated critical mineral whose absence "would have significant consequences for the economy or national security," reported the Department of Interior in 2018.

"As the world's leading vertically integrated tantalum producer, we stand ready to deliver high performance and DFARS-compliant tantalum products to our customers," said Steve Krause, President of GAM Technology. "Now, more than ever, U.S. Department of Defense suppliers need dependable partners with reliable critical material supply chains, and GAM is capable of meeting their tantalum powder, chips, ingot, rod, plate, or sheet enabling them to conform to this requirement."

DFARS 225.7018 implements section 849 of the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") for Fiscal Year 2020. Section 849 of the NDAA added tantalum to an existing statute (10 U.S.C. §2533c) that lists critical materials DoD cannot source (with few exceptions) from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. 

About Tantalum

Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. The chemical inertness of tantalum makes it a valuable substance for laboratory equipment and as a substitute for platinum. The major use for tantalum, as the metal powder, is in the production of electronic components, mainly capacitors, and some high-power resistors.

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