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Bioleaching is a preparatory step to valuable metals recovery, based on catalyzing the oxidation of sulfide minerals. Bioleaching involves abiotic and biotic reactions, often with different requirements.

At present bioleaching is used essentially for the recovery of copper, uranium and gold.

Bioleaching microbes include T. ferrooxidans, T. thiooxidans and L. ferrooxidans.

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