Particlized mineral material, such as gold ore, silver ore, or coal, is subjected to a leaching process in a manner to maximize treatment effectiveness even when the particlized mineral material contains small fines. The material is slurried with a flocculating material and fibers, such as cellulosic fibers, fiberglass fibers, or ceramic fibers, and a liquid, and then is passed to the top of a leaching reactor. The slurry is continuously passed downwardly in the reactor while the leaching liquid, such as a cyanide solution, is passed counter-current to the slurry. Leaching liquid is removed from the top of the leaching reactor by a stilling well, and then passed through a carbon adsorber and reintroduced into the reactor. Leached slurry is passed to a continuous washing station, with spent wash liquid from the top of the washing station being utilized as a slurrying liquid for the particlized mineral material.