Bioleaching of copper via iron oxidation from chalcopyrite at elevated temperatures

The effect of elevated temperature on the bioleaching of copper from chalcopyrite, (CuFeS2) via iron oxidation using Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans under mesophilic conditions was studied. It was shown that temperature tolerant and ore adapted strains of At. ferrooxidans could extract copper significantly better than non-adapted cultures at elevated temperatures. The presence of soluble iron and its oxidative state, as a determining factor in copper leaching were found to be closely related to pH and temperature.