Bacterial Leaching of Manganese Ores

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Abstract

Leaching of various types of ores, containing 12–30% manganese, by the thiobacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was studied. Leaching of reduced ores (manganocalcite and manganiferous limestone) was mediated mainly by degradation of manganiferous minerals (by sulfuric acid produced in the course of bacterial oxidation of pyrite or sulfur). Bacterial treatment of the ores for 144 and 192 h allowed solubilization of 96–98% of manganese. Inoculation of bacteria into pulp with pyrite increased the rate of leaching of oxide ore (psilomelane) by 37%, and the degree of its extraction within 180 h increased from 80 to 97%.

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