Fractional calculus is a generalization of the traditional calculus approach. In this research, column leaching test results are modeled by using the rate equation obtained by fractional calculus and compared to the traditional mass transfer equation model. By analyzing the adjusted determination coefficient, it is demonstrated that the proposed fractional model describes the extracted recovery percentage better than traditional equations. This analysis supports the utilization of the new model without over-parameterization. The present work brings a new point of view in mass transfer modelling of column leach testing, and therefore reformulates the existing models based on classic transport phenomena, leading to better understanding of the mineral leaching process. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.