Thermophilic and lithoautotrophic archaea such as Metallosphaera sedula occupy acidic, metal-rich environments and are used in biomining processes. Biotechnological approaches could accelerate these processes and improve metal recovery by biomining organisms, but systems for genetic manipulation in these organisms are currently lacking. To gain a better understanding of the interplay between metal resistance, autotrophy, and lithotrophic metabolism, a genetic system was developed for M. sedula and used to evaluate parameters governing the efficiency of copper bioleaching. Additionally, adaptive laboratory evolution was used to select for naturally evolved M. sedula cell lines with desirable phenotypes for biomining, and these adapted cell lines were shown to have increased bioleaching capacity and efficiency. Genomic methods were used to analyze mutations that led to resistance in the experimentally evolved cell lines, while transcriptomics was used to examine changes in stress-inducible gene expression specific to the environmental conditions.