The accumulation of mine tailings on Earth is a serious environmental challenge. The importance for the recovery of heavy metals, together with the economic benefits of precious and base metals, is a strong incentive to develop sustainable methods to recover metals from tailings. Currently, researchers are attempting to improve the efficiency of metal recovery from tailings using bioleaching, a more sustainable method compared to traditional methods. In this work, the research status of using biological leaching technologies to recover heavy metals from tailings was reviewed. Furthermore, CiteSpace 5.7.R2 was used to visually analyze the keywords of relevant studies on biological leaching of tailings to intuitively establish the current research hotspots. We found that current research has made recent progress on influencing factors and microbial genetic data, and innovations have also been made regarding the improvement of the rate of metal leaching by biological leaching combined with other technologies. This is of great significance for the development of bioleaching technologies and industrial production of heavy metals in tailings. Finally, challenges and opportunities for bioleaching provide directions for further research by the scientific community.