Abstract The nickeliferous lateritic ore of Sukinda, Orissa (India) is a complex ore containing very fine particles. An attempt has been made to leach nickel using indigenous microflora, which were isolated from the same ore. It was observed that 90% of nickel and 34% cobalt were extracted from the lateritic nickel ore. The percentage of dextrose in the growth medium was varied from 2% to 10% in order to increase the nickel extraction. Organic acids such as oxalic and citric acid and acids generated by microbial metabolism were also used for leaching. The results were compared with those of microbial leaching.