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Biomining is a biotechnological process carried out in many parts of the world that exploits acid loving microorganisms to extract metals from sulphide minerals. One industrial biomining method is called ‘heap bioleaching’ where typically copper containing minerals are piled into very large heaps, acid and microorganisms are added to the top and the soluble metal is collected at the heap base.
The role of the different types of microbes in the process is to speed up metal solubilisation by oxidising