Biohydrometallurgy: What is its Future?
Bioleaching/minerals biooxidation and bioremediation have been widely used commercially for heap/dump bioleaching of secondary copper sulfide ores, sulfidic-refractory gold concentrates and treatment of acid rock drainage. Technical and commercial challenges, identified in this paper, remain for bioleaching of primary sulfides and complex ores. New frontiers for the technology exist in processing massive sulfides, silicate-locked minerals and in the more distant future in-situ leaching. Decommissioning of cyanide heap leach operations and stabilizing mine wastes using biotechnology are opportunities requiring intensive and focused research, development and engineering efforts.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
C. L. Brierley "Biohydrometallurgy: What is its Future?", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 3-10, 2009