Special Issue "Advances in Biohydrometallurgy"

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A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Anna H. Kaksonen

CSIRO Land and Water, 147 Underwood Avenue, Floreat, WA 6014, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioclogging, biocorrosion, bioenergy, biofouling, biogeochemistry, bioleaching, biomining, biooxidation, bioprecipitation, bioprocessing, bioreduction, bioremediation, environmental biotechnology, environmental microbiology, industrial microbiology, microbial ecology, microbial taxonomy, resource recovery, waste management, wastewater treatment, water distribution, water treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As ore grades decline, new technologies are needed to enable the economic extraction of metals from lower-grade and more complex ores. Biohydrometallurgy has the potential to transform low grade and complex ore resources and wastes into reserves and to make the mining industry more sustainable by extending the life span of mining operations and mitigating harmful environmental impacts. This Special Issue will focus on recent advances in biohydrometallurgy, including but not limited to topics such as bioprospecting microbial catalysts for new bioprocesses in mining; ore pre-treatment and beneficiation; bioleaching and recovery of metals from low grade ores and wastes; biotechnical treatment of process waters and effluents from mining and metallurgical operations, and characterization of microbial communities in biohydrometallurgical processes and mining environments.

Dr. Anna H. Kaksonen
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • biohydrometallurgy
  • bioflotation
  • bioleaching
  • biooxidation
  • bioprecipitation
  • bioprospecting
  • bioreduction
  • biotechnical treatment
  • mining biotechnology

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Characterization of the Bacterial and Sulphate Reducing Community in the Alkaline and Constantly Cold Water of the Closed Kotalahti Mine
Minerals 2015, 5(3), 452-472; doi:10.3390/min5030452
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 15 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 9 July 2015
PDF Full-text (3877 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Drainage from metal-sulphide rich rocks may cause considerable environmental stress in the form of elevated sulphate and heavy metal contamination of the environment. Mine draining effects from closed mines may be abated using indigenous and introduced microbial communities for sulphate reduction and metal
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Drainage from metal-sulphide rich rocks may cause considerable environmental stress in the form of elevated sulphate and heavy metal contamination of the environment. Mine draining effects from closed mines may be abated using indigenous and introduced microbial communities for sulphate reduction and metal precipitation at the mining site. Here we characterized the general and sulphate reducing bacterial (SRB) community of Kotalahti Mine (Finland). The mine was flooded after closure and sulphate reduction and metal precipitation was induced by addition of pig manure sludge into the Vehkankuilu shaft. Water was sampled from Vehkankuilu and Ollinkuilu shafts from depths −10, −30, −70 and −100 m 15 years after the treatment. The water in the shafts differed from each other biologically and geochemically. The shafts are not directly connected except by some fracture zones, and the Ollinkuilu shaft is used as a reference for environmental monitoring. The detected bacterial communities from both shafts contained methylotrophic γ-Proteobacteria, hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic β-Proteobacteria and fermenting bacterial clades. The concentration of SRB was low, at most 4.0 × 103 dsrB genes·mL−1, and the SRB affiliated with Desulfobulbus and Thermoanaerobacteriales clades. Despite the obvious success of the mine as an in situ bioreactor for increasing water pH and removing sulphate and heavy metals by induced sulphate reduction under suboptimal temperature, only a small portion, less than 0.5%, of the bacterial population in the mine water was SRB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)
Open AccessArticle Use of Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria to Leach Rare Earth Elements from Monazite-Bearing Ore
Minerals 2015, 5(2), 189-202; doi:10.3390/min5020189
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1060 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present study, the feasibility to use phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) to develop a biological leaching process of rare earth elements (REE) from monazite-bearing ore was determined. To predict the REE leaching capacity of bacteria, the phosphate solubilizing abilities of 10 species
[...] Read more.
In the present study, the feasibility to use phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) to develop a biological leaching process of rare earth elements (REE) from monazite-bearing ore was determined. To predict the REE leaching capacity of bacteria, the phosphate solubilizing abilities of 10 species of PSB were determined by halo zone formation on Reyes minimal agar media supplemented with bromo cresol green together with a phosphate solubilization test in Reyes minimal liquid media as the screening studies. Calcium phosphate was used as a model mineral phosphate. Among the test PSB strains, Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. putida, P. rhizosphaerae, Mesorhizobium ciceri, Bacillus megaterium, and Acetobacter aceti formed halo zones, with the zone of A. aceti being the widest. In the phosphate solubilization test in liquid media, Azospirillum lipoferum, P. rhizosphaerae, B. megaterium, and A. aceti caused the leaching of 6.4%, 6.9%, 7.5%, and 32.5% of calcium, respectively. When PSB were used to leach REE from monazite-bearing ore, ~5.7 mg/L of cerium (0.13% of leaching efficiency) and ~2.8 mg/L of lanthanum (0.11%) were leached by A. aceti, and Azospirillum brasilense, A. lipoferum, P. rhizosphaerae and M. ciceri leached 0.5–1 mg/L of both cerium and lanthanum (0.005%–0.01%), as measured by concentrations in the leaching liquor. These results indicate that determination of halo zone formation was found as a useful method to select high-capacity bacteria in REE leaching. However, as the leaching efficiency determined in our experiments was low, even in the presence of A. aceti, further studies are now underway to enhance leaching efficiency by selecting other microorganisms based on halo zone formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)
Open AccessArticle Chemoorganotrophic Bioleaching of Olivine for Nickel Recovery
Minerals 2014, 4(2), 553-564; doi:10.3390/min4020553
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 11 June 2014 / Accepted: 12 June 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bioleaching of olivine, a natural nickel-containing magnesium-iron-silicate, was conducted by applying chemoorganotrophic bacteria and fungi. The tested fungus, Aspergillus niger, leached substantially more nickel from olivine than the tested bacterium, Paenibacillus mucilaginosus. Aspergillus niger also outperformed two other fungal species: Humicola
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Bioleaching of olivine, a natural nickel-containing magnesium-iron-silicate, was conducted by applying chemoorganotrophic bacteria and fungi. The tested fungus, Aspergillus niger, leached substantially more nickel from olivine than the tested bacterium, Paenibacillus mucilaginosus. Aspergillus niger also outperformed two other fungal species: Humicola grisae and Penicillium chrysogenum. Contrary to traditional acid leaching, the microorganisms leached nickel preferentially over magnesium and iron. An average selectivity factor of 2.2 was achieved for nickel compared to iron. The impact of ultrasonic conditioning on bioleaching was also tested, and it was found to substantially increase nickel extraction by A. niger. This is credited to an enhancement in the fungal growth rate, to the promotion of particle degradation, and to the detachment of the stagnant biofilm around the particles. Furthermore, ultrasonic conditioning enhanced the selectivity of A. niger for nickel over iron to a value of 3.5. Pre-carbonating the olivine mineral, to enhance mineral liberation and change metal speciation, was also attempted, but did not result in improvement as a consequence of the mild pH of chemoorganotrophic bioleaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)

Review

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Open AccessReview Copper Bioleaching in Chile
Minerals 2016, 6(1), 23; doi:10.3390/min6010023
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 9 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chile has a great tradition of producing and exporting copper. Over the last several decades, it has become the first producer on an international level. Its copper reserves are also the most important on the planet. However, after years of mineral exploitation, the
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Chile has a great tradition of producing and exporting copper. Over the last several decades, it has become the first producer on an international level. Its copper reserves are also the most important on the planet. However, after years of mineral exploitation, the ease of extracting copper oxides and ore copper content has diminished. To keep the production level high, the introduction of new technologies has become necessary. One that has been successful is bioleaching. Chile had the first commercial operation in the world exclusively via bioleaching copper sulfides. Nowadays, all bioleaching operations run in the country contribute to an estimated 10% of total copper production. This article presents antecedents that have contributed to the development of copper bioleaching in Chile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)
Open AccessReview The Confluence of Heavy Metal Biooxidation and Heavy Metal Resistance: Implications for Bioleaching by Extreme Thermoacidophiles
Minerals 2015, 5(3), 397-451; doi:10.3390/min5030397
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 7 July 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extreme thermoacidophiles (Topt > 65 °C, pHopt < 3.5) inhabit unique environments fraught with challenges, including extremely high temperatures, low pH, as well as high levels of soluble metal species. In fact, certain members of this group thrive by metabolizing
[...] Read more.
Extreme thermoacidophiles (Topt > 65 °C, pHopt < 3.5) inhabit unique environments fraught with challenges, including extremely high temperatures, low pH, as well as high levels of soluble metal species. In fact, certain members of this group thrive by metabolizing heavy metals, creating a dynamic equilibrium between biooxidation to meet bioenergetic needs and mechanisms for tolerating and resisting the toxic effects of solubilized metals. Extremely thermoacidophilic archaea dominate bioleaching operations at elevated temperatures and have been considered for processing certain mineral types (e.g., chalcopyrite), some of which are recalcitrant to their mesophilic counterparts. A key issue to consider, in addition to temperature and pH, is the extent to which solid phase heavy metals are solubilized and the concomitant impact of these mobilized metals on the microorganism’s growth physiology. Here, extreme thermoacidophiles are examined from the perspectives of biodiversity, heavy metal biooxidation, metal resistance mechanisms, microbe-solid interactions, and application of these archaea in biomining operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)
Open AccessReview Review of Biohydrometallurgical Metals Extraction from Polymetallic Mineral Resources
Minerals 2015, 5(1), 1-60; doi:10.3390/min5010001
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review has as its underlying premise the need to become proficient in delivering a suite of element or metal products from polymetallic ores to avoid the predicted exhaustion of key metals in demand in technological societies. Many technologies, proven or still to
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This review has as its underlying premise the need to become proficient in delivering a suite of element or metal products from polymetallic ores to avoid the predicted exhaustion of key metals in demand in technological societies. Many technologies, proven or still to be developed, will assist in meeting the demands of the next generation for trace and rare metals, potentially including the broader application of biohydrometallurgy for the extraction of multiple metals from low-grade and complex ores. Developed biotechnologies that could be applied are briefly reviewed and some of the difficulties to be overcome highlighted. Examples of the bioleaching of polymetallic mineral resources using different combinations of those technologies are described for polymetallic sulfide concentrates, low-grade sulfide and oxidised ores. Three areas for further research are: (i) the development of sophisticated continuous vat bioreactors with additional controls; (ii) in situ and in stope bioleaching and the need to solve problems associated with microbial activity in that scenario; and (iii) the exploitation of sulfur-oxidising microorganisms that, under specific anaerobic leaching conditions, reduce and solubilise refractory iron(III) or manganese(IV) compounds containing multiple elements. Finally, with the successful applications of stirred tank bioleaching to a polymetallic tailings dump and heap bioleaching to a polymetallic black schist ore, there is no reason why those proven technologies should not be more widely applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohydrometallurgy)
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