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Invited Review

Review and prospect of bioleaching in the Chinese mining industry

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  • Received: 4 September 2020Revised: 25 November 2020Accepted: 27 November 2020Available online: 28 November 2020
  • As the second largest economy with a rapid economic growth, China has a huge demand for metals and energies. Production and consumption of several metals in China including copper, gold and rare earth elements (REEs) take the first place in the world in recent years. Bioleaching, an approach for low grade and refractory ores has been applied in industrial production, which makes great contributions to the development of Chinese mining industry. The exploration and application of bioleaching in China is reviewed in this study. Production and consumption of several metals in the past decade in China are introduced. Technological processes and main bioleaching operations in China, such as Zijinshan Copper Mine and Mianhuakeng Uranium Mine are presented. Current challenges of bioleaching operations in China are also introduced. Prospects including efficiency improvement and environmental protection are proposed as well according to current situation in the Chinese bioleaching industry.
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Review and prospect of bioleaching in the Chinese mining industry

  • Corresponding author:

    Wei Chen    E-mail: ustbchenwei@126.com

  • 1. Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for High-Efficient Mining and Safety of Metal, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, 100083, China
  • 2. School of Civil and Resource Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, 100083, China
  • 3. School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, 100083, China

Abstract: As the second largest economy with a rapid economic growth, China has a huge demand for metals and energies. Production and consumption of several metals in China including copper, gold and rare earth elements (REEs) take the first place in the world in recent years. Bioleaching, an approach for low grade and refractory ores has been applied in industrial production, which makes great contributions to the development of Chinese mining industry. The exploration and application of bioleaching in China is reviewed in this study. Production and consumption of several metals in the past decade in China are introduced. Technological processes and main bioleaching operations in China, such as Zijinshan Copper Mine and Mianhuakeng Uranium Mine are presented. Current challenges of bioleaching operations in China are also introduced. Prospects including efficiency improvement and environmental protection are proposed as well according to current situation in the Chinese bioleaching industry.

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