A metal-eating bacteria to minimize mining waste

Chilean Biotechnologists discovered a special type of bacteria that can eat a nail in three days.

The team hoped to minimize mining waste in their country.  They used a special bacteria called the Leptospirillum that lives in an acidic environment and is not affected by high levels of metal.  

At first, the bacteria took two months to eat through the nail. But when starved, it can consume the nail in just three days.

Based on the tests, the bacteria are not harmful to humans or the environment.  In fact, the residue left after it devours the nail has another use.  It can be utilized to remove copper from a rock, in an environmentally friendly way.   

Do you think green mining will finally be doable with the help of this metal-eating bacteria?  Comment your thoughts below.   


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