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Microorganisms are used in the mining industry for their natural ability to digest, absorb, and change the quality of different chemicals and metals. It is often a low capital, low energy input and a low operational cost process. Low concentrations of ores as well as mine tailings may be mined. Wikipedia: [ Biomining] and [ Bioleaching]. A perfect example is copper mining, nearly 25% of which is today performed with the organism ''Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans'' that leaches copper from mine tailings.

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