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Column bioleaching of low-grade mining ore containing high level of smithsonite, talc, sphaerocobaltite and azurite


Present work describes the bioleaching potential of metals from low-grade mining ore containing smithsonite, sphaerocobaltite, azurite and talc as main gangue minerals with adapted consortium of Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans strain-RDB and Thermoplasma acidophilum. Bioleaching potential improved markedly by added energy source, acid preleaching and adaptation of microbial consortium with mixed metal ions. During whole leaching period including acid preleaching stage of 960 h and bioleaching stage of 212 days about 76% Co, 70% Zn, 84% Cu, 72% Ni and 63% Fe leached out.

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This work was supported by Changjiang scholars and innovation research team in universities (IRT0974), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (Industrial biotechnology division) of Pakistan.

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Correspondence to Ruan Chi.

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Ilyas, S., Chi, R., Bhatti, H.N. et al. Column bioleaching of low-grade mining ore containing high level of smithsonite, talc, sphaerocobaltite and azurite. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 35, 433–440 (2012).

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  • Column bioleaching
  • Low-grade sulfide ore
  • Consortium of moderate thermophiles