The existence of possible hematitic strata on the surface of Mars demands a search for terrestrial analogues formed in unusual environments. This will help us to recognize and interpret environmental and, perhaps, biological signatures preserved in Mars' hematites. Such an analogue would allow us to establish valid reference systems based on geomicrobial and biogeochemical signatures. Two different aspects place the Tinto River inside the boundaries of a natural extreme system: its high level of biological diversity and the presence of fluvial rocks formed in the same acidic conditions as in the modern system, which could predate the Tertiary. Study of both the modern system and the ancient system is necessary to understand the formation of biosignatures. A chemolithotrophic community that biooxidizes the Iberian Pyritic Belt, acidifying water (pH between 0.9 and 3.0) and favoring high concentrations of ferric iron in solution (up to 20 g.L-1), maintains this iron-driven system. In spite of these extreme conditions, high microbial diversity was found. Its acidic bacteria, archaea, and eukarya constitute a complex community supported by algal biomass in highly stable hydrochemical conditions, which are achieved through iron buffering. The pH is maintained at constant low levels even at very high water dilution. In these conditions, iron minerals as oxyhydroxides, hydroxides, and sulfates are formed. The modern and recent parageneses contrast with the ancient Tinto River terrace mineral associations, which show dehydrated and desulfated iron oxides. If this dehydration process is considered, these Tinto River ironstones may be a key for knowing some aquatic habitats, which may have hosted a part of the early Mars biosphere.