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Open AccessArticle

Bioreductive Dissolution as a Pretreatment for Recalcitrant Rare-Earth Phosphate Minerals Associated with Lateritic Ores

1
Facultad de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Universidad San Sebastián, Lientur 1457, Concepción 4080871, Chile
2
Instituto Tecnológico Vale, Rua Boaventura da Silva 955, Belém, Pará 66055-090, Brazil
3
School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor LL57 2UW, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030136
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydro- and Biohydrometallurgy)
Recent research has demonstrated the applicability of a biotechnological approach for extracting base metals using acidophilic bacteria that catalyze the reductive dissolution of ferric iron oxides from oxidized ores, using elemental sulfur as an electron donor. In Brazil, lateritic deposits are frequently associated with phosphate minerals such as monazite, which is one of the most abundant rare-earth phosphate minerals. Given the fact that monazite is highly refractory, rare earth elements (REE) extraction is very difficult to achieve and conventionally involves digesting with concentrated sodium hydroxide and/or sulfuric acid at high temperatures; therefore, it has not been considered as a potential resource. This study aimed to determine the effect of the bioreductive dissolution of ferric iron minerals associated with monazite using Acidithiobacillus (A.) species in pH- and temperature-controlled stirred reactors. Under aerobic conditions, using A. thiooxidans at extremely low pH greatly enhanced the solubilization of iron from ferric iron minerals, as well that of phosphate (about 35%), which can be used as an indicator of the dissolution of monazite. The results from this study have demonstrated the potential of using bioreductive mineral dissolution, which can be applied as pretreatment to remove coverings of ferric iron minerals in a process analogous to the bio-oxidation of refractory golds and expand the range of minerals that could be processed using this approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron reduction; reductive mineral dissolution; Acidithiobacillus; laterites; phosphate mineral; REE iron reduction; reductive mineral dissolution; Acidithiobacillus; laterites; phosphate mineral; REE
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nancucheo, I.; Oliveira, G.; Lopes, M.; Johnson, D.B. Bioreductive Dissolution as a Pretreatment for Recalcitrant Rare-Earth Phosphate Minerals Associated with Lateritic Ores. Minerals 2019, 9, 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030136

AMA Style

Nancucheo I, Oliveira G, Lopes M, Johnson DB. Bioreductive Dissolution as a Pretreatment for Recalcitrant Rare-Earth Phosphate Minerals Associated with Lateritic Ores. Minerals. 2019; 9(3):136. https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nancucheo, Ivan; Oliveira, Guilherme; Lopes, Manoel; Johnson, David B. 2019. "Bioreductive Dissolution as a Pretreatment for Recalcitrant Rare-Earth Phosphate Minerals Associated with Lateritic Ores" Minerals 9, no. 3: 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030136

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