Mr. Roland Chavasse joined T.I.C. on January 1st, 2016 as the first Director. T.I.C. is an international, non-profit association founded in 1974 under Belgian law that represents around 90 members from over 25 countries involved with all aspects of the tantalum and niobium industry. T.I.C. is managed by an Executive Committee elected from the membership and representing all segments of the industry. Read below a short interview with Mr. Roland Chavasse. (08/10/2020)

Roland Chavasse - Working

With the original rock which Charles Hatchett sampled to discover niobium, which currently is held at the Natural History Museum in London

What are you working on?
As a partner to the TARANTULA project, the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) is focused on two areas, in particular, firstly, helping to research European tantalum (Ta), niobium (Nb), and tungsten (W) resources to create a database, and secondly supporting educational efforts to publicize the work of TARANTULA. We were quite busy last year with the mineral resource database, but at the moment things are relatively quiet for us since the T.I.C. is not involved in the R&D stages of the project. For us, the main work will take place when the results of the R&D are ready to be publicized in a series of conference presentations, industry workshops, and press releases. I think it’s an area we can help with as we have a lot of experience in creating and hosting events. It is very important that industry and academia learn from the work of TARANTULA, otherwise, all our time and efforts are devalued.

What attracts you in the research project you are working on?
It is a great team of people who have come together to work on a really interesting project, what’s not to like?
One of the primary objectives for the T.I.C. as an Association is to “increase awareness and promote the remarkable properties of tantalum and niobium”, which is an objective that overlaps perfectly with our involvement in TARANTULA.
We pursue this goal through our website (, our quarterly “Bulletin” newsletter, and in hosting the world’s leading conference dedicated to tantalum and niobium markets.
Personally, I find the work of our R&D colleagues in TARANTULA to be fascinating and it is always enjoyable to write about new scientific breakthroughs in the Bulletin.
It is just a shame that our in-person conference this year has been cancelled since one of the presentations was going to be by Dr. Nader Akil from our TARANTULA partner PNO Innovation.

Roland Chavasse - Bulletin

Visiting the Ytterby mine site in Sweden, where the sample in which tantalum was first discovered was mined (reading a copy of T.I.C.’s Bulletin newsletter)

Where do you work? What do you like about your organization or the city you live in?
The T.I.C. is based in Belgium, in a town called Lasne just south of Brussels, but we run a virtual office with colleagues all around the world. Our Secretary-General is in Belgium, I am based in the UK, our Technical Officer is in Nevada, USA, and we also work regularly with specialist contractors in Hong Kong, Brazil, Australia, and elsewhere, as and when their help is required. I find working with people from diverse backgrounds around the world to be a stimulating and rewarding part of my job.

What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?
Develop my own business further. I’m sorry to say that T.I.C. has not been immune to the impact of Covid-19 and as my role is about to become a part-time one, I’m open to new challenges. My company is called Rare Metals Consulting, and it has always had a focus on the critical raw materials (CRM), as you may imagine! We live in interesting times, but one thing is for certain, the world’s demand for responsibly-sourced rare and critical metals is only going to increase…

Roland Chavasse - Photography

Roland is a keen photographer, seen here visiting Hong Kong port as part of the T.I.C.’s 2019 conference


Roland Chavasse was born and raised in the UK. He has worked in the field of critical raw materials, especially rare/minor metals for almost 20 years, including time as Director of the T.I.C., as an analyst with Roskill, and several trading and logistics roles. Highlights of his time as T.I.C. Director include building strong links with governments and international organisations, developing NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material) guidance in multiple languages, launching an internationally recognised award for tantalum research (the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize), and hosting the Association’s first-ever conference in Central Africa. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the Open University.


Photo Credits: T.I.C.