Microorganisms are paramount for metal cycling and mineral formation in Earth surface environments. Metal cycles are driven by microorganisms, because some metal ions are essential for microbial nutrition, others are oxidized or reduced to obtain metabolic energy, while in particular heavy metal ions.

Understanding geomicrobial cycling

1, Understanding geomicrobial gold cycling; i.e., 2, solubilisation and transport; 3, bioaccumulation; 4, reductive biomineralisation; 5, secondary gold formation; helps mineral explorers (1) to find new gold deposits and provide new ore-processing approaches. From Zammit et al. (2012b).