Heavy metal transporters belonging to the P1B-ATPase subfamily of P-type ATPases are key players in cellular heavy metal homeostasis. Heavy metal transporters belonging to the P1B-ATPase subfamily of P-type ATPases are key players in cellular heavy metal homeostasis. In this study we investigated the properties of HvHMA1, which is a barley orthologue of Arabidopsis thaliana AtHMA1 localized to the chloroplast envelope. HvHMA1 was localized to the periphery of chloroplast of leaves and in intracellular compartments of grain aleurone cells. HvHMA1 expression was significantly higher in grains compared to leaves. In leaves, HvHMA1 expression was moderately induced by Zn deficiency, but reduced by toxic levels of Zn, Cu and Cd. Isolated barley chloroplasts exported Zn and Cu when supplied with Mg-ATP and this transport was inhibited by the AtHMA1 inhibitor thapsigargin. Down-regulation of HvHMA1 by RNA interference did not have an effect on foliar Zn and Cu contents but resulted in a significant increase in grain Zn and Cu content. Heterologous expression of HvHMA1 in heavy metal-sensitive yeast strains increased their sensitivity to Zn, but also to Cu, Co, Cd, Ca, Mn, and Fe. Based on these results, we suggest that HvHMA1 is a broad-specificity exporter of metals from chloroplasts and serve as a scavenging mechanism for mobilizing plastid Zn and Cu when cells become deficient in these elements. In grains, HvHMA1 might be involved in mobilizing Zn and Cu from the aleurone cells during grain filling and germination.