In October 2019 the T.I.C. – also a partner in TARANTULA – held its 60th ‘General Assembly’ (annual conference) at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong.

In October 2019 the T.I.C. held its 60th ‘General Assembly' (annual conference) at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong.

This event is the world’s leading international tantalum-niobium conference, and this year, despite the negative journalism about Hong Kong in recent months, over 185 delegates attended from over 100 companies and almost 50 countries. The city of Hong Kong was as spectacular as it always is and the conference proceeded without incident and was a notable success.

Noticeably there was an increase in the number of participants from China this year and a small but significant delegation representing stakeholders connected with the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize, the T.I.C.’s annual award for excellence in tantalum research.

Highlights of the presentations included:

  • Examinations of cutting-edge tantalum- and niobium-based technologies such as high-temperature capacitors, tantalum alloys used in additive manufacturing, and explosive welding.
  • Market analyses from Roskill Information, CRU, DERA/BGR and the European Passive Component Institute giving insights into recent industry trends and potential future developments.
  • A detailed explanation from the European Commission about its new regulation of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold imports into the EU, due to start in January 2021.
  • Important messages from IBM, RMI and ITSCI regarding supply chain due diligence processes.

During the General Assembly, the T.I.C. held its 2019 annual general meeting at which members voted in the 2019-2020 Executive Committee. Of those elected, the President for the coming year was confirmed as Dr Daniel Persico who is SVP, Mergers & Acquisitions/TOKIN Integration at KEMET Electronics Corporation.

Of course, no T.I.C. conference would be complete without a gala dinner and an industry-focused field trip. This year we were treated to a sumptuous nine course Chinese banquet with traditionally inspired music provided by our platinum sponsor Guangdong Zhiyuan New Material Co., Ltd.  During the dinner Dr Persico awarded the 2019 Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize to Nicolas Soro from The University of Queensland for his work on additive manufacturing using tantalum alloys for medical applications.

Our field trip was a visit, by boat, to the Hong Kong container port, one of the busiest in the world. Our visit was timed perfectly to see the loading/unloading of the merchant vessel OOCL Hong Kong, a truly vast ship which was the largest container ship in the world when it was launched in 2017. Container shipping plays a key role in the global tantalum-niobium supply chain and it was a fascinating way to finish our conference to see one of these modern giants in action.

Our thanks again to our platinum sponsor Guangdong Zhiyuan New Material Co., Ltd, and our silver sponsors A&R Merchants Inc., RC Inspection Group and Yanling Jincheng Tantalum & Niobium Co., Ltd.

Next year we will be in Geneva, Switzerland, starting on Sunday October 11th 2020. Our field trip will be to visit CERN, one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research (powered by niobium-based superconducting magnets). We look forward to seeing you there!

T.I.C., 31/10/2019

Delegates of the T.I.C.’s 60th General Assembly prepare to visit Hong Kong container port.