Document Type : REVIEW PAPER


1 Department of Biotechnology, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India

2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India

3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, CO2 and Green Technology Centre, VIT, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India


A multitude of microbes are involved in the solubilisation of minerals and metals as this approach offers numerous advantages over traditional methods. This strategy is preferred as it is eco-friendly and economical, thus overcoming the drawbacks of the traditional approach of pyrometallurgy. Many different types of bacteria are employed in the process of Bioleaching, which are collectively grouped under chemolithotrophs, as they derive their energy from inorganic compounds. Bioleaching is the mobilization of metal cations from insoluble ores by microorganisms. All chemolithotropic bacteria are extremophiles since they have the ability to survive in extreme conditions. They carry out the process of Bioleaching through three mechanisms: Indirect, contact/ direct and cooperative bioleaching. This review gives a sneak peek into the different strains of chemolithotrophs which are used in bioleaching, and some recent work in the field. It also gives an insight into the general process and mechanism of Bioleaching, the study of which will pave way for developing better and efficient industrial bioleaching operations.

Graphical Abstract

A delve into the exploration of potential bacterial extremophiles used for metal recovery


  • Elucidation of chemolithotrophs and Bioleaching revealed that many different chemolithotrophs play an active role in the process of bioleaching of various metals
  • Recent breakthroughs on various extremophiles used for bioleaching prove its enormous potential for future research in this field
  • The most common and widely used organisms for bioleaching belong to Acidithiobacillusand Leptospirillum genus and they are explored in this review
  • Three different mechanisms of bioleaching exist currently- direct, indirect and cooperative bioleaching; studying the mechanisms is required to develop better commercial bioleaching processes.


Main Subjects

Letters to Editor

GJESM Journal welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in GJESM should be sent to the editorial office of GJESM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.
[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.
[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.
[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.
[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.
[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.
[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.