The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of using mixed culture of iron and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria for the dissolution of metals from high-grade zinc and lead sulfide ore. Considering that the roll crusher could reduce the ore size to less than 2 mm, this size fraction was selected in order to study the possibility of removing mill circuit. Effects of parameters such as pulp density, initial pH, Fe2+, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), and pH fluctuations were investigated, as well. The maximum Zn dissolution was achieved under the conditions of initial pH 2, initial 75 g/L FeSO4 center dot 7H(2)O, and pulp density of 50 g/L. The results indicated that under the optimum conditions, about 68.8% of zinc was leached during 24 days of bacterial leaching treatment. The lead recoveries were low (about 1%), because of precipitation of Pb as lead arsenate chloride. Furthermore, the surface studies by using SEM images showed that during chemical leaching the ore dissolution starts from surface discontinuities, but in bacterial leaching all surface becomes involved. In addition, in another process the ore was leached separately with sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide, and then final results were compared to the bacterial leaching tests in order to find the optimum hydrometallurgical method to extract zinc and lead from these ores.