Biomining in reverse gear: using bacteria to extract metals from oxidized ores

Johnson, D.B. and du Plessis, C.A. (2014) Biomining in reverse gear: using bacteria to extract metals from oxidized ores. Minerals Engineering, 75. pp. 2-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2014.09.024

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Biomining, as traditionally practised, uses aerobic, acidophilic microorganisms to accelerate the oxidative dissolution of sulfide minerals present in ores and concentrates, thereby either causing target metals to be solubilised (e.g. copper) or made accessible to chemical extraction (e.g. gold). Many acidophiles are also able to catalyse the dissimilatory reduction of ferric iron in anoxic or oxygen-depleted environments, and can accelerate the reductive dissolution of ferric iron minerals, such as goethite, under such conditions. Recent work has demonstrated how this approach can be used to extract metals (nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese) from oxidised ores, such as laterites deposits, at low (�30 °C) temperatures. Reductive mineral dissolution has been trialled successfully with a variety of ores, pointing to a generic application of this approach.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2015 02:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 02:52
ISSN: 0892-6875
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/3707
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2014.09.024
Publisher: Elsevier
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