The Effect of Different Additives and Medium on the Bioleaching of Molybdenite for Cu and Mo Extraction Using Mix Mesophilic Microorganism

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 School of Mining, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran 1439957131, Iran; Department of Mining Engineering, Mineral Processing Division (Mineral-Metal Recovery and Recycling Research Group), Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta TR32260, Turkey

2 School of Mining, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran 1439957131, Iran.

3 National Iranian Copper Industries Co. Sarcheshmeh Mine, Iran.

4 Mining Engineering Department, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey

5 Department of Mining Engineering, Mineral Processing Division (Mineral-Metal Recovery and Recycling Research Group), Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta TR32260, Turkey

Abstract

Bioleaching processes for extraction of Cu and Mo from molybdenite cons. are more environmentally friendly and consume less energy than conventional technologies, yet less economically efficient. One necessary step towards arriving at a cost-effective bioleaching process is using appropriate methodology to optimize pertinent factors in such processes. To this end, the present study employed Response Surface Methodology to optimize important factors in a molybdenite bioleaching process by mix mesophilic microorganism using shake flasks. The effect of change in the levels of molybdenite concentration, pyrite and silver ion concentration as additives - in the range 3-9%, 1-5%, and 0-1.2gr/l, respectively - on the rate of Cu and Mo bioleaching was studied using a Central Composite Design. The results showed a statistically significant effect of silver ion and molybdenite concentration, and to a lesser pyrite concentration, on the rate of bioleaching of Cu and Mo. Further, different mediums and additives were evaluated for copper and molybdenum extraction from molybdenite concentrate in bioleaching process. Small amounts of silver (100mgr/l AgSO4) dramatically accelerated the copper dissolution process. Addition of FeS2 and sulfur with ferrous sulfate accelerated the acidification and raised the oxidation-reduction potential of solution (medium) with an inoculation of 15% (v/v) of active and adapted indigenous mesophilic bacteria, thus resulting in an overall increase in Mo dissolution efficiency.

Keywords