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|ABSTRACT- I Chemotrophic bacteria, capable of oxidising inorganic species such as Fe(II) and S(-]I) for their metabolic energy, have been known for many decades and interest in these bacterial species has increased since their ability oxidise auriferous arsenopyrite ores has been demonstrated. The rate at which bacterial cultures can oxidise a solid sulphide ore is of importance but a number of difficulties arise when attempting to evaluate this oxidative activity. The two major problems are counting the number of viable bacteria present in the reactor and identifying the types of bacteria that are active in both the solid and liquid phases. Enumerating the numbers of bacteria responsible for an observed change is necessary to compare the activity of different isolates. For selection and identification of bacteria during the development stages of a project, and for monitoring an operational process, the recognition of different species will be of importance. Methods for the taxonomic discrimination of bacterial species rely on observations, different culturing techniques, and the degree of DNA base homology between isolates. A method reported recently uses IR spectroscopy for comparisons between isolates. This spectroscopic method and its application is discussed.|