Biomining is the process of using microorganisms (microbes) to extract metals of economic interest from rock ores or mine waste. Biomining techniques may also be used to clean up sites that have been polluted with metals. Most current biomining operations target valuable metals like copper, uranium, nickel, and gold that are commonly found in sulfidic (sulfur-bearing) minerals. Microbes are especially good at oxidizing sulfidic minerals, converting metals like iron and copper into forms that can dissolve more easily. Other metals, like gold, are not directly dissolved by this microbial process, but are made more accessible to traditional mining techniques because the minerals surrounding these metals are dissolved and removed by microbial processes. When the metal of interest is directly dissolved, the biomining process is called "bioleaching" and when the metal of interest is made more accessible or "enriched" in the material left behind, it is called "biooxidation". Both processes involve microbial reactions that can happen anywhere the microbes, rocks, and necessary nutrients, like oxygen, occur together. Extensive research has been going-on on these mining bacteria in the fields of metallurgy and biotechnology. New high throughput sequencing techniques and molecular methods such as 16s rRna sequencing and DNA-DNA hybridisation etc. are being used to isolate and identify new strains. The results reveal that the microbial leaching communities consist of a plethora of microorganisms and the processes used by all these microorganisms during bioleaching are unique. New strains are being isolated locally and are being genetically manipulated to increase the rate of bioleaching and biooxidation and consequently there is a rapid increase in the data related to mining bacteria. Therefore, there is a necessity of an integrated database which can serve as repository for the mining bacteria and hence we created an interactive and informative web database in which the information related to these bacteria can be deposited as well as extracted.

Utility of the database:

It is an interactive database from which users can retrieve as well as deposit data regarding mining bacteria. It will serve as a cumulated informative platform for users where they can get information regarding various mining bacteria at one place and can refer it for further research. Since, it’s a cumulative database, the user can easily identify the domains in which a certain bacterium needs to be studied more and vice versa. Moreover, since it’s an interactive platform, any researcher from any part of the world can access it and input their data regarding an existing bacterium in the database or create a new entry for new bacteria they have isolated from the mines. Therefore, the database can be updated from entries all over the world.