This article addresses the state of the art of bioleaching research published in South Korean Journals. Our research team reviewed the available articles registered in the Korean Citation Index (KCI, Korean Journal Database) addressing the relevant aspects of bioleaching. We systematically categorized the target metal sources as follows: mine tailings, electronic waste, mineral ores and metal concentrates, spent catalysts, contaminated soil, and other materials. Molecular studies were also addressed in this review. The classification provided in the present manuscript details information about microbial species, parameters of operation (e.g., temperature, particle size, pH, and process length), and target metals to compare recoveries among the bioleaching processes. The findings show an increasing interest in the technology from research institutes and mineral processing-related companies over the last decade. The current research trends demonstrate that investigations are mainly focused on determining the optimum parameters of operations for different techniques and minor applications at the industrial scale, which opens the opportunity for greater technological developments. An overview of bioleaching of each metal substrate and opportunities for future research development are also included.
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