Finding a cleaner, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way of metal and mineral extraction has a great importance in today’s world. Using microorganisms in bio-leaching and bio-oxidation process is of great value. From Archaea to bacteria and fungi, microorganisms can play an important role in extraction of metals from mine drainage and un-accessible sources, both in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Optimization of environmental factors such as the temperature, pH and substrate concentration is crucially important to access the optimum extraction of selected metals from an ore or mine drainage. The present paper will review the bio-leaching and bio-oxidation process of minerals with emphasis on the most well-known species of bacterial communities of such ability, through the literature.
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