A new species of Archaea was isolated from an industrial mineral sulphide bioleach heap. Strain BH2, a non-motile pleomorphic coccus, was capable of chemomixotrophic growth on ferrous sulphate and yeast extract. Growth was not supported in the absence of yeast extract. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that strain BH2 was most closely related to the species Ferroplasma acidiphilum; however, it showed only 95% sequence similarity with this species. Strain BH2 had a temperature optimum of 53.6 degrees C and a temperature range for growth between 22 and 63 degrees C. Thus, it is the first moderately thermophilic member of the genus Ferroplasma. The optimum pH for the growth of the strain occurred between pH 1.0 and 1.2 and the lowest pH at which growth was observed was 0.4. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and other physiological characteristics, strain BH2 constitutes a new species within the genus Ferroplasma. The name Ferroplasma cupricumulans is proposed for the new species and strain BH2 (DSM 16651) is proposed as the type strain.