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The second step (e.g., the regeneration of ferric iron, which is then reduced to ferrous on reaction with pyrite) is the key reaction in promoting the ongoing oxidation of the mineral. At pH values >4, this may be mediated chemically or biologically (by iron-oxidizing bacteria such as Ga. ferruginea), while at pH < 4, abiotic oxidation is negligible and the activities acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria dominate (Johnson and Hallberg, 2003).

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