The effects of sulfur concentration on the bioleaching of heavy metals from the sediment by indigenous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria were investigated in an air-lift reactor. Increasing the sulfur concentration from 0.5 to 5g/l enhanced the rates of pH reduction, sulfate production and metal solubilization. A Michaelis-Menten type equation was used to explain the relationships between sulfur concentration, sulfate production and metal solubilization in the bioleaching process. After 8 days of bioleaching, 97-99% of Cu, 96-98% of Zn, 62-68% of Mn, 73-87% of Ni and 31-50% of Pb were solubilized from the sediment, respectively. The efficiency of metal solubilization was found to be related to the speciation of metal in the sediment. From economical consideration, the recommended sulfur dosage for the bioleaching of metals from the sediment is 3g/l.