Bioremediation of Contaminants in Mine Areas

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 496

Special Issue Editors

College of Agriculture, Environmental Science, University of South Africa, Florida 1710, South Africa
Interests: bioremediation; bioprocessing; wastewater treatment
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town 7530, South Africa
Interests: anaerobic digestion; waste and wastewater remediation and reuse; biofuels
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental remediation is the technique used to remove contaminants or pollutants from soil, groundwater, and other areas of the environment. This is carried out to repair the environment and prevent additional harm. Chemical and biological methods can be used to remove contaminants. This Special Issue will concentrate on the biological process known as bioremediation. Utilising microorganisms and plants, bioremediation employs techniques like bioprocessing, biodegradation, bioaccumulation, and bioremoval of toxins or pollutants.  It is thought to be the most affordable and efficient method. Microbial bioremediation, mycoremediation, and phytoremediation are the three main types of bioremediation. Hazardous materials are used as an energy source by bacteria during the process of microbial bioremediation, which leads to the breakdown of contaminants. In the case of heavy metals, microorganisms adapt and develop genes that give them the ability to thrive in places with high levels of heavy metal contamination. Microbes secrete extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), which are made up of proteins, lipids, extracellular DNA, and polysaccharides. Entrapment, efflux, biosorption, reduction, complexation, and precipitation are the effects of EPSs attaching to heavy metals. Mycoremediation is a type of fungi-based bioremediation. Enzymes produced by fungi break down or decompose contaminants or pollutants. Fungi use bioadsorption, biosynthesis, bioaccumulation, biomineralization, bioreduction, bio-oxidation, and EPS precipitation in the removal of heavy metals. The practice of using plants to remove pollutants from the environment is known as phytoremediation. They are more active in less polluted environments. The primary processes employed in phytoremediation are phytovolatilization, phytodegradation, rhizofiltration, phytostabilization, and phytoextraction. Plants and microorganisms function effectively together. Plants use phytoextraction in heavy metal-contaminated environments where metals are absorbed and accumulate in roots, stems, and leaves. During mining activities, the surrounding areas become contaminated, which has an impact on the local vegetation, environment, and population. Numerous mines are abandoned once mining is complete, causing environmental pollution. Acid mine drainage (AMD), which is a byproduct of mining operations, has become a significant issue in waterbodies. Both pollutant eradication and mining area restoration are essential.

Dr. Tonderayi Matambo
Dr. Oluwaseun O. Oyekola
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • bioleaching
  • acid mine drainage
  • microbial bioremediation
  • phytoremediation
  • mycoremediation
  • bioprocessing of contaminates
  • innovative hybrid technologies (chemicals with biological processes)

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 3761 KiB  
Determining the Metabolic Processes of Metal-Tolerant Fungi Isolated from Mine Tailings for Bioleaching
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 235; - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 299
This study examined the metal tolerance and organic acid-producing capabilities of fungal isolates from South African tailings to assess their potential for future bioleaching applications. Four isolates were chosen for additional examination based on their capacity to generate organic acids and tolerance to [...] Read more.
This study examined the metal tolerance and organic acid-producing capabilities of fungal isolates from South African tailings to assess their potential for future bioleaching applications. Four isolates were chosen for additional examination based on their capacity to generate organic acids and tolerance to metals. In terms of tolerance to Al, Zn, Ni, and Cr, these four isolates—Trichoderma, Talaromyces, Penicillium_3, and Penicillium_6—displayed varying degrees of resistance, with Trichoderma displaying a better metal tolerance index. The growth rates under metal stress varied among the isolates, with Trichoderma displaying the highest growth rates. In high-performance liquid chromatography results, citric acid emerged as the primary organic acid produced by the four isolates, with Trichoderma achieving the highest yield in the shortest timeframe. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry results showed that the citric acid cycle is one of the main pathways for organic acid production, though other pathways related to lipid biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism also play significant roles. Three compounds involved in furfural breakdown were abundant. Using KEGG, a link between these compounds and the citric acid cycle was established, where their breakdown generates an intermediate of the citric acid cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioremediation of Contaminants in Mine Areas)
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