Most current biomining operations use naturally occurring microbial communities. Because these types of organisms are already common in the environment, the risks from the release of the microbes themselves into the local environment are considered to be relatively small.
The greatest environmental risks are related to leakage and treatment of the acidic, metal-rich solution created by the microbes, which is similar to the acid mine drainage from some abandoned mines. This risk can be managed by ensuring that biomining is conducted under controlled conditions with proper sealing and waste management protocols.
Biomining is currently a small part of the overall mining industry. It is used most frequently when the percentage of the desired metal in a rock is small, or to extract remaining metals from waste rock after conventional mining.
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Biomining is mineral processing with microbes. What metals are currently biomined? What processes are used to biomine? The most common processes used in biomining are:  Heap leaching: freshly mined material is moved directly into heaps that are then bioleached.
Free Preview. Gives a unique and in-depth description of mechanisms of bioleaching and the role played by exopolymers substances in the interfacial degradation of metal sulfides Includes new evidence supplied by new techniques electrochemical techniques, atomic force microscope Shows recent results about proteomic and bioinformatics that offer a new perspective on the microbial processes Explains the bioleaching fundamentals and the bioleaching applications at different scales see more benefits.
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