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Metals 2019, 9(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9010081

Bioleaching for Copper Extraction of Marginal Ores from the Brazilian Amazon Region

1
SENAI Innovation Institute for Mineral Technologies, National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI), Belém, PA 66035-405, Brazil
2
Itatijuca Biotech, São Paulo, SP 05508-000, Brazil
3
Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense (Unesc), Criciúma, SC 88806-000, Brazil
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract

The use of biotechnology to explore low-grade ore deposits and mining tailings is one of the most promising alternatives to reduce environmental impacts and costs of copper extraction. However, such technology still depends on improvements to be fully applied in Brazil under industrial scale. In this way, the bioleaching, by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, in columns and stirred reactors were evaluated regarding to copper extraction of a mineral sulfide and a weathered ore from the Brazilian Amazon region. Samples (granulometry of 2.0/4.75 mm) were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry and scanning electrons microscopy (SEM). The pH and Oxidation-reduction potential (Eh) were daily monitored and leachate samples were collected for copper extraction determination by EDXRF. After 47 days, the columns bioleaching efficiency was 1% (1298 mg Cu·L−1) and 0.95% (985 mg Cu·L−1) for 2.00/4.75 mm sulfide ore, respectively, whereas the stirred reactors bioleaching resulted in 4% (348 mg Cu·L−1) for the mineral sulfide and 47% (295.5 mg Cu·L−1) for the weathered ore. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomining; bioleaching; mining tailings; copper; waste management biomining; bioleaching; mining tailings; copper; waste management
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Nascimento, D.N.O.; Lucheta, A.R.; Palmieri, M.C.; Carmo, A.L.V.; Silva, P.M.P.; Ferreira, R.V.P.; Junca, E.; Grillo, F.F.; Alves, J.O. Bioleaching for Copper Extraction of Marginal Ores from the Brazilian Amazon Region. Metals 2019, 9, 81.

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