Biological treatment is a proven process for the treatment of mining effluents such as tailings, wastewaters, acidic mine drainage etc. Several bacterial species (Pseudomonas sp.) can effectively degrade cyanide into less toxic products. During metabolism, they use cyanide as a nitrogen and carbon source converting it to ammonia and carbonate, if appropriate conditions are maintained. In this study, nine strains of Pseudomonas sp. were isolated and identified from a copper mine. Two (CM5 and CMN2) of the nine bacteria strains were used in a cyanide solution. Some important,parameters in the biological treatment process were tested and controlled: pH, cell population and CN- concentration. Tests were conducted to determine the effect of the type of bacterial strains on the treatment of cyanide. Laboratory results indicated that biological treatment with Pseudomonas sp. might be competitive with other chemical treatment processes. This paper presents the results of an investigation of a biological treatment system for cyanide degradation in a laboratory batch process. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.