Bioprocessing of refractory oxide ores by bioreduction: Extraction of silver, molybdenum, and copper

P. Rusin, J. Cassells, J. Sharp, Robert G Arnold, N. A. Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although much research has been conducted in the area of biooxidation of sulfide ores, few investigations in the bioreduction of oxide ores have been published. We report high recoveries of silver, molybdenum, and copper from refractory oxide ores through bioreduction. Metal-reducing Bacilli solubilize manganese and iron. Crystals of pyrolusite, goethite, and hematite are bacterially dissolved and entrapped target metal ions are released. Zinc and copper are solubilized by metabolic end products such as organic acids. Bioreductive leaching of oxide ores was more successful than chemical leaching. A 0.1% cyanide bottle roll on an Arizona manganiferous silver ore resulted in 13.7% silver extraction. Bioreductive leaching extracted 86% of the silver into the growth medium. Also, 99.8% of the manganese, >2;99% of the copper, and 91% of the zinc were solubilized. A cyanide bottle roll of the bioleached solids extracted an additional 8.5% of the silver for a total recovery of 94.5%. A 5% sulfuric acid bottle roll of a Nevada iron oxide molybdenum ore recovered 1.8% of the moly. Bioreduction solubilized 93% of the molybdenum into the growth medium. A follow-up acid bottle roll recovered no additional moly. Bioreductive leaching can be used to recover target metals from refractory oxide ores without the use of cyanide or sulfuric acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1354
Number of pages10
JournalMinerals Engineering
Volume5
Issue number10-12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

Fingerprint

Molybdenum
molybdenum
Silver
Refractory materials
Oxides
Ores
Copper
silver
oxide
copper
Bottles
Leaching
Cyanides
cyanide
leaching
Manganese
Sulfuric acid
sulfuric acid
Zinc
manganese

Keywords

  • bioleaching
  • Bioreduction
  • iron
  • manganese
  • molybdenum
  • refractory oxide ore
  • silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

Bioprocessing of refractory oxide ores by bioreduction : Extraction of silver, molybdenum, and copper. / Rusin, P.; Cassells, J.; Sharp, J.; Arnold, Robert G; Sinclair, N. A.

In: Minerals Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 10-12, 1992, p. 1345-1354.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rusin, P. ; Cassells, J. ; Sharp, J. ; Arnold, Robert G ; Sinclair, N. A. / Bioprocessing of refractory oxide ores by bioreduction : Extraction of silver, molybdenum, and copper. In: Minerals Engineering. 1992 ; Vol. 5, No. 10-12. pp. 1345-1354.
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