As the other answers have pointed out, you're not going to have a lot of Earth-normal flora and fauna that will survive out on the ore sands. Heavy metal toxicity is pretty gnarly, and when it doesn't kill you quickly, it tends to sterilize you, so you're not going to be having a lot of offspring that might be slightly-more-adapted.
That said, there are such things on Earth as plants that hyperaccumulate heavy metals, enough so that there's discipline called "phytomining" that involves using metal-accumulating plants to leech stuff out of the soil that's later processed. (Here's more information on phytomining in the context of gold phytomining, and here's a Wikipedia list of hyperaccumulating plants: list of hyperaccumulators. Quickly scanning that list, I see mostly water plants and some temperate grasses with the notable exception of creosote bush, which is very hardy desert plant.) Hyperaccumulators tend to do really well in the presence of heavy metals because of their stellar ability to sequester the stuff in their leaves and resist its toxic effects. Throw in a bit of ambient magic, and this would be the way to go for the "metal plant" effect you want--though less "steel cactus" and more "copper creosote bush".
The neat thing about this is that your desert-dwellers could exploit these hyperaccumulators to make their own metal trade easier. Creosote, for example, happens to hyperaccumulate only copper, so planting a bunch near a mixed ore sand obviates the need to refine it to get the copper out. Just let the creosote do it and collect later. I could see them gradually developing a science of phytomining by observing what plants grow well next to which ore sands, and what kind of metal can be reclaimed from those plants when they're processed. (This is something you may also want to bring in the magic for, since processing metals out of plants in the real world involves some very strong, very nasty chemical processes.)
As for the animals, well--there's magic in the setting, so the sky's the limit on what you want to do with that. Keep in mind, though, that if an animal--through ambient magic--adapts to live out in this extreme environment where it picks up all kinds of trace metals in its food, it's probably also going to adapt to make that metal do something for it. Deposition in bone is the most likely initial start, since that's where heavy metals already bioaccumulate in vertebrate animals, but it will spread out from there. People who are exposed to a lot of silver in their diet, for example, eventually change color as it gets into their skin! (And there's another potential economic opportunity--if the metals that get into the local fauna deposit in their skin, fur, scales, or shells and result in attractive coloration that's long-lasting after the animal dies, you've got some really pretty exotic animal parts you can sell to supplement all the ore you're shipping out.)
You would not, however, get much in the way of non-magical, non-plant-life in this environment that was any bigger than bacteria. That doesn't mean, though, that you can't go pore over some lists of desert fauna and base some magical animals on them. Personally, I'd think tortoises would do pretty well if they could magically resist heavy metal poisoning and incorporate all that metal they're picking up into their shells.