CSIRO Scientists Say Bacteria Found in the West Australian Wheatbelt Could Pave the Way for More Efficient Mining in the Future
A team of researchers found the salt and acid tolerant bacteria in drains on farmland near Merredin and Beacon.
It is hoped the bacteria will overcome the need for desalination in the bioleaching process.
Environmental microbiologist Dr Suzy Rea says fresh water is a major cost item in the mining industry.
"In Chile, the biggest copper mine in the world is right next to the sea," she said.