Natural carbonaceous matter aided the bioleaching of Cu from chalcopyrite concentrates. The oxidative dissolution of chalcopyrite was enhanced more significantly by anthracite than carbonaceous matter in double refractory gold ore (DRGO). This was achieved through Galvanic interactions between the chalcopyrite and natural carbonaceous matter. Measurement of impedance verified that the electro-resistance is smaller in anthracite, which has a greater graphitic degree than carbonaceous matter in DRGO. The electron shuttle between chalcopyrite and the Fe3+ /Fe2+ redox couple was facilitated not only by the amounts of carbonaceous matter but also the degree of graphitization of carbonaceous matter. A higher graphitization degree increased the electron conductivity of the carbonaceous matter to help mediate Cu bioleaching while avoiding direct contact of thermophile cells with refractory copper sulfides.
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