You can help save chimpanzees simply by recycling your old phone. How do old phones help chimpanzees? The mining of coltan poses a substantial threat to African great apes. Coltan is a mineral used in electronics. Mining results in the clearing of habitat in coltan-rich areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where chimpanzees live. It also drives the bush meat trade, further exacerbating the decline of chimpanzee populations.