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Feasible bioprocessing technologies for low-grade iron ores

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2015, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 78-87

Zhang, M.M.; Li, H.X.; Andrade, M.; Xuan, W.; Correa, A.


With increasing demand for steel and depletion of high-grade iron ore deposits, more research efforts are being directed toward extending the life of existing ore reserves and developing technology to treat low-grade iron ore resources. Among all the reported technologies, biotechnologies in mineral processing – specifically bioleaching and microbially induced flotation – have emerged to be considered as low-cost, environmentally friendly potential alternatives to many of the current mineral processing techniques. This paper provides a comprehensive review of current research on the use of microorganisms for iron ore beneficiation and, further, discusses the applicability of bioleaching, bioflotation and bioflocculation for the beneficiation of low-grade iron ores.