Characterization of the Anoxic Sediments of Rio Tinto: Biohydrometallurgical Implications
Rio Tinto, a natural extreme acidic environment with a rather constant acidic pH and a high concentration of heavy metals, is the product of the metabolic activity of chemolithotrophic microorganisms thriving in the rich complex sulfides of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. Up to now the microbial characterization has been made mainly in the water column and biofilm samples. Since all ferric reducing activities will not benefit the bioleaching operations, we consider it critical to ascertain the ecology and metabolic properties of the microorganisms inhabiting the anoxic part of the sediments, to facilitate the design and control the operation of heap bioleaching processes, maximizing their efficiency. The implication of these microorganisms in biohydrometallurgical operations is discussed.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
A. García-Moyano et al., "Characterization of the Anoxic Sediments of Rio Tinto: Biohydrometallurgical Implications", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 109-112, 2009