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Do you happen to have any links that describe this technique and/or its costs? Do you know if any companies are using it and on what grades of ore?

I found it by accident in a reference to DNI.V and their work on using it for extracting multiple metals from a shale. The little I found states that the concentrations are so low that even with this method, no one metal will pay, but the combination of all extractable metals does pay. No exact figures were given, and are probably being still worked out. Search showed a number of other companies mentioned in conjunction with this method of ore extraction. It seems to be low cost, but also slow.

The three methods of leaching I've heard of are: in situ acid leaching, used when an ore body lets fluids through; acid heap leaching; and bioheapleaching. The first injects acid in a ring of wells, with a central extraction well, and is low cost where usable. Acid heap leaching is more common, bioheapleaching is less expensive, where applicable. The latter two pile ore on an impermeable surface to leach.

The killing of bacteria could also occur with higher silver concentrations: silver is a known bacteria killer. Some bacteria might have features designed into them to provide immunity - but I think the feature of interest here is that the bacteria ingest sulfer, and cause metal compounds which are soluble to form.

A Finnish company named Talvivaara, and an Australian named Pacific Ore Limited are mentioned, among others which showed up under the search (bioheapleaching metal ore). DNI is public, the others I don'y yet know about. Mining is not my major capability at present.

I intend to study this in my almost nonexistant spare time.
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