Post operation inactivation of acidophilic bioleaching microorganisms using natural chloride-rich mine water

Malin Bomberg (Corresponding Author), Hanna Miettinen, Margareta Wahlström, Tommi Kaartinen, Sarita Ahoranta, Aino Maija Lakaniemi, Päivi Kinnunen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The H2020 BIOMOre project (, Grant Agreement #642456) tests the feasibility of in situ bioleaching of copper in deep subsurface deposits in the Rudna mine, Poland. Copper is leached using biologically produced ferric iron solution, which is recycled back to the in situ reactor after re-oxidation by iron-oxidizing microorganisms. From a post operational point of view, it is important that the biological processes applied during the operation can be controlled and terminated. Our goal was to determine the possibility to use natural saline mine water for the inactivation of the introduced iron-oxidizing microorganisms remaining in the in situ reactor after completion of the leaching process of the ore block. Aerobic and anaerobic microcosms containing acid-leached (pH 2) sandstone or black shale from the Kupferschiefer in the Rudna mine were further leached with the effluent from a ferric iron generating bioreactor at 30 °C for 10 days to simulate the in situ leaching process. After the removal of the iron solution, residing iron-oxidizing microorganisms were inactivated by filling the microcosms with chloride-rich water (65 g L−1 Cl) originating from the mine. The chloride-rich water irreversibly inactivated the iron-oxidizing microorganisms and showed that the naturally occurring saline water of the mine can be used for long-term post process inactivation of bioleaching microorganisms

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236-245
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


    This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement # 642456, BIOMOre project.


    • BIOMOre
    • in situ bioleaching
    • Inactivation
    • Iron-oxidizing bacteria
    • Quantitative PCR


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