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Environmental aspects of bacterial oxidation with respect to the mining and processing of some sulfide minerals

Indian Institute of Metals
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  • Materials Engineering (Formerly Metallurgy)
  • Earth Science


The acid production potential of sulfide-containing ore and tailing samples from Au and Cu mining in the state of Karnataka, India, depended essentially on their mineralogical characteristics and the amount of S present in the samples. The acid-buffering capacities of the materials were in order: Cu tailings > Au tailings > Cu ore (+100 mesh) > Cu ore (+60 mesh) > Cu ore (+44 mesh) > Cu ore (+10 mesh). Thiobacillus ferrooxidans Enhanced acid production and heavy metal ion dissolution; bacterial oxidation is influenced by pH, sulfide minerals present, etc. High pH levels and a bactericide retarded bacterial oxidation.

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