Assessing the effectiveness of a biological recovery of nickel from tailing dumps

E. Fosso-Kankeu, A. F. Mulaba-Bafubiandi, B. B. Mamba, T. G. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The mobilization of nickel from sulphide minerals using sulfuric acid and Bacillus subtilis was examined. The influences of the concentration of acid and bacteria as well as reaction time were considered. Recovery of nickel by interrupted bioreaction was relatively low and exhibited two phases: an active phase (up to 6 h exposure) and a latent phase (over 6 h exposures) reflecting bacterial inhibition by nickel overtime. Nickel was quickly recovered from tailings (20 ppm/h) than from ore (8.07 ppm/h) with biological and acidic methods. It therefore appears that optimum nickel mobilization with B. subtilis will occur in the active phase. Biological method has environmental advantage and thus appropriate for tailing dumps management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-472
Number of pages3
JournalMinerals Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Mining ore
  • Monod-type kinetic
  • Nickel mobilization
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Tailing dumps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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