Metal is removed from particlized metal bearing refractory ores in an efficient manner utilizing pressure metallurgy with heat recovery. The particlized ore is mixed with a heated liquid, and preferably a flocculant and fibers, to form a slurry. The ore in the slurry is oxidized at superatmospheric pressure, and elevated temperatures (e.g. around 300.degree. F.). The oxidized ore is washed to remove acids, and like products of oxidation, and the washed ore is subsequently subjected to conventional leaching processes to effect an actual metal recovery. Heat recovery is practiced by utilizing spent wash water as part of the slurrying liquid, and using two or more liquid-interconnected vessels in effecting the oxidization.