Chile and Indonesia, as a mining-developed country and a mining-developing country, respectively, are compared to estimate the future applicability of bioleaching technique into real operation. Chilean copper industry has improved via the following steps: (i) domination by foreign capitals, (ii) resource nationalization, (Chilenization), (iii) lost competitiveness due to the decrease in the ore-grade, (iv) the invitation of foreign capitals to regain the competitiveness. Indonesia takes the same path and it was easily predicted that Indonesian copper mining industry is also likely to loose the competitiveness due to the decrease in ore-grade. Therefore, the installation of bioleaching would be proposed for further development of Indonesian copper industry.
Keywords: bioleaching; mining; copper industry; Chile; Indonesia