ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
Registr. No.: MK SR 9/7

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Bioprocessing of mine waste: effects of process conditions

Maxim Muravyov

Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia



Abstract: Large volumes of waste from the mining and processing industry, particularly flotation tailings of polymetallic ores, have accumulated all over the world. Mine tailings can cause severe environmental pollution and pose significant risks to both human and environmental health. However, by the contents of their metals, mine tailings can be regarded as sources for extracting copper, zinc, gold, and other metals, specifically, by using biohydrometallurgy. Stored pyritic flotation tailings of copper-zinc ores, containing 0.26% of copper, 0.22% of zinc, and 0.67 g/t of gold were studied. A continuous process of biooxidation of this waste was studied at three temperature settings of 35, 40, and 45 °C. Processing at 35 °C for 8 days caused the pyrite oxidation level to reach 73.6%, and the gold recovery by carbon-in-pulp cyanidation of the leach residue to reach 85%. The effect of pH on biooxidation of pyritic tailings at 45 °C was also studied. The pyrite oxidation level was 18% higher when the process was carried out in the pH range of 1.2–1.5, as compared to the pH range of 1.7–2.0. The results obtained are important for the development of mine waste utilization using eco-friendly biotechnology.

Keywords: Biooxidation ; Bioleaching ; Pyritic waste ; Acidophilic microorganisms 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00844-4


Chemical Papers 73 (12) 3075–3083 (2019)

Monday, June 17, 2024

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