Letter | Published:

Resistance to Copper of some Oxidizing and Reducing Bacteria

Naturevolume 199page622 (1963) | Download Citation



CERTAIN types of bacteria, particularly Thiobacillus thiooxidans and Ferrobacillus ferrooxidans, are known to assist the oxidation of pyritic ores1–4. It has also been shown5,6 that the rate of natural leaching of uranium from low-grade ores can be significantly increased when the leaching is done in the presence of pyrite that is itself undergoing microbiological oxidation. It is possible that a similar enhanced leaching effect could be obtained for other metals from their low-grade ores. This is of particular interest in the case of copper, since it might be anticipated that cupric ions would have a marked toxic effect on the bacteria, and enhanced leaching would be prevented.

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  1. National Chemical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex

    • G. H. BOOTH


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