The politics of coltan encompass rebel militias, transnationalcorporations, determined activists, Hollywood celebrities, the riseof China, and the latest iGadget. Drawing on Congolese and activistvoices, Nest analyses the two issues that define coltan politics:the relationship between coltan and violence in the Congo, andcontestation between activists and corporations to reshape theglobal tantalum supply chain. The way production and trade ofcoltan is organised creates opportunities for armed groups, but theCongo wars are not solely, or even primarily, about coltan orminerals generally. Nest argues the political significance ofcoltan lies not in its causal link to violence, but in activists'skillful use of mobile phones as a symbol of how ordinary peopleand transnational corporations far from Africa are implicated inCongo's coltan industry and therefore its conflict. Nest examinesthe challenges coltan initiatives face in an activist 'marketplace'crowded with competing justice issues, and identifies lessons fromcoltan initiatives for the geopolitics of global resources moregenerally.