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|Biological processes for metal solubilization and ore beneficiation are in widespread use today. There are also some promising new applications of biotechnology in the areas of metal concentration and toxic metal cleanup. Recent progress in genetic engineering promises both to revolutionize the existing biological process and to expedite the adoption of the new biological applications. But before it can do so effectively, progress must be made in many areas of fundamental research and in biochemical engineering. These issues are addressed with special reference to the biotechnology of semi-enclosed containers (bioreactors), dumps, heaps, in situ and under- ground leaching, and with respect to the biotechnology of metal concentration. Finally, certain biological considerations for bacterial strain improvement are discussed.|