Journal article

Biodegradation of thiocyanate by a native groundwater microbial consortium

Liam P Spurr, Mathew P Watts, Han M Gan, John W Moreau

PEERJ | PEERJ INC | Published : 2019


Gold ore processing typically generates large amounts of thiocyanate (SCN-)-contaminated effluent. When this effluent is stored in unlined tailings dams, contamination of the underlying aquifer can occur. The potential for bioremediation of SCN--contaminated groundwater, either in situ or ex situ, remains largely unexplored. This study aimed to enrich and characterise SCN--degrading microorganisms from mining-contaminated groundwater under a range of culturing conditions. Mildly acidic and suboxic groundwater, containing ∼135 mg L-1 SCN-, was collected from an aquifer below an unlined tailings dam. An SCN--degrading consortium was enriched from contaminated groundwater using combinatory amen..

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Program grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by funding from Stawell Gold Mine and an Australian Research Council Linkage Program grant to John W. Moreau (LP160100866). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.