Monitoring the consortia involved in mining processes has great potential for heap leaching optimization in many types of ores and target metals. UBM has embarked on ambitious sequencing and analysis projects to further the knowledge of these consortia. Each mine site and ore-type has unique characteristics that allow various microbial communities to develop and thrive. Understanding the symbiosis and importance of individual species within a consortia may reveal exciting new targets for genetics-based solutions to intractable problems encountered in the industry.