Mining in mt isa

By | 02.02.2018

Mount Isa Mines (Xstrata 100%) operates two separate mining and processing streams, copper and zinc-lead-silver. Mount Isa Mines’ copper operations include two underground copper mines – Enterprise and X41, with ore mining capacity of 6.2mt per annum; a concentrator with 7mt per annum capacity; and a copper smelter. Mines in Mount Isa / QLD Mt Isa Area - Transport and Delivery Facilities and Services - address: Private Mail Bag 1 Mt Isa Mines - (4825) Mount Isa QLD Mt Isa Area. All Mining jobs in Mount Isa, QLD on, the search engine for jobs in Australia.
Find Local Mining Companies in Mount Isa, QLD 4825. LocalSearch features user reviews & full business details in its Mount Isa Mining Companies directory. Mount Isa Mines. Mount Isa Mines Limited ("MIM") operates the Mount Isa copper, lead, zinc and silver mines near Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia as part of the Glencore group of companies. For a brief period in 1980, MIM was Australia's largest company. Mount Isa Mines (Xstrata 100%) operates two separate mining and processing streams, copper and zinc-lead-silver. Mount Isa Mines’ copper operations include two underground copper mines – Enterprise and X41, with ore mining capacity of 6.2mt per annum; a concentrator with 7mt per annum capacity; and a copper smelter. Mines in Mount Isa / QLD Mt Isa Area - Transport and Delivery Facilities and Services - address: Private Mail Bag 1 Mt Isa Mines - (4825) Mount Isa QLD Mt Isa Area. All Mining jobs in Mount Isa, QLD on, the search engine for jobs in Australia.

For the Queensland electoral division, see Electoral district of Mount Isa.

Mount Isa (EYE-zə) is a city in the Gulf Country region of Queensland, Australia. It came into existence because of the vast mineral deposits found in the area. Mount Isa Mines (MIM) is one of the most productive single mines in world history, based on combined production of lead, silver, copper and zinc.[3]

With an estimated urban population mining in mt isa 21,998 as at June 2016,[1] Mount Isa is the administrative, commercial and industrial centre for the state's vast north-western region, mining in mt isa. Although situated in an arid area, the artificial Lake Moondarra[4] 19 kilometres (12 mi) north of the city on the Leichhardt River provides both drinking water and an area for watersports, birdwatching and recreation. Locals often refer to Mount Isa as "The Isa".[5]

Due to the lead production in the city, Mount Isa has one of the most intensive air quality monitoring systems in Australia.[6] Mining in mt isa have been raised over childhood lead contamination and air pollution within the city.[7][8] The Mount Isa Mines (MIM) in particular are a source of significant lead pollution.[9]


The land around the present day city of Mount Isa was home to the Kalkadoon aboriginal tribe. The Kalkadoon tribe led a subsistence lifestyle on this land that the white settlers looked at as nothing but poor grazing land, with the odd mineral deposit. As settlers and prospectors pressed further into their lands the Kalkadoon tribe members set out on one of Australia's most successful guerrilla wars in a fight for their lands. Their success continued until at Battle Mountain in 1884, with what some historians have called a rush of blood, the tribe attacked a fortified position in large numbers and suffered terrible losses. The weakened state of the tribe made their land more vulnerable to the settlers and soon much of the land was lost. Armed patrols chasing the surviving tribe members and poor grazing lands for the settlers made times hard in the area over the following decades.

It is said that a lone prospector, John Campbell Miles, stumbled upon one of the world's richest deposits of copper, silver and zinc during his 1923 expedition into the Northern Territory, but many people do not know that he was taken to the deposits by a young aboriginal man by the name of Kabalulumana (for whom an Indigenous person's hostel in Mount Isa is named).[10] When Miles inspected the yellow-black rocks in a nearby outcrop, they reminded him of the ore found in the Broken Hill mine that he had once worked at. Upon inspection these rocks were weighty and heavily mineralised. A sample sent away to the assayer in Cloncurry confirmed their value. Miles and four farmers staked out the first claims in the area. Taken with friend's stories of the Mount Ida gold mines in Western Australia, Miles decided upon Mount Isa as the name for his new claim.

Mount Isa Post Office opened on 1 August 1924.[11]

A location for the town's hospital was chosen in 1929, with a small building completed the following year.[12] In 1931, a larger structure was moved to the site from the closed mining town of Kuridala.[12]

Heritage listings[edit]

Mount Isa has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Mount Isa at local level is part of the City of Mount Isa, at state level is part of the electoral district of Mount Isa in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, and at federal level is part of the Division of Kennedy in the Australian House of Representatives. The mayor of Mount Isa, after the 2016 Local Government Elections, is Joyce McCulloch.[19] The City of Mount Isa LGA jurisdiction, covering 43,188 km2[20] (2nd largest in Australia), is one of the largest in the world in terms of area[citation needed] and takes in the border town of Camooweal, 188 km (117 mi) to the north-west of Mount Isa and 12 km (7.5 mi) from the border of the Northern Territory.

Local industry and business[edit]

Mount Isa's industry is largely dependent on mining. Xstrata Plc operates the Mount Isa Mines lease adjacent to the city, which comprises the "Enterprise" underground copper mine, X41 underground copper mine, "Black Star Open Cut" silver-lead zinc mine, and metallurgical processing facilities. Silver-lead-zinc ore is also mined 20 km (12 mi) to the north at Hilton from the "George Fisher" underground mine, and the adjoining "Handlebar Hill" open cut, which is trucked back to Mount Isa for processing.

Mount Isa is in the top two of the largest copper mining and smelting operations in the country.[21] Copper and lead are smelted on site, with copper anodes and zinc concentrate being transported 900 km bitcoining mining rig to the city and port of Townsville on the east coast. The lead ingots are transported to a refinery in Britain where the silver is extracted. The mine is the most significant landmark in the area, with the stack from the lead smelter (built 1978), standing 270 m tall, visible from all parts of the city and up to 40 km (25 mi) otis mining needed]

In 2008 a Queensland Health report found that more than 10% of children in Mount Isa had blood lead levels above World Health Organization recommendations. The mining operator Xstrata mining gt 1030 responsibility and stated that the town has naturally high levels of lead in the soil.[22] However, a more recent study led by Macquarie University environmental engineers has used lead isotope analysis to show conclusively that the lead ingested had originated from smelted ore and not surface deposits.[23][24]


Attractions include the Hard Times Mine at "Outback at Isa" and The Mount Isa Rodeo and Mardi Gras (held on the same weekend) has given Mount Isa the title of "Rodeo Capital of Australia". The occasion may well triple the city's population in these few days.[citation needed] A memorial has been made especially for the Rodeo, down Rodeo Drive; the sidewalks have special memorials embedded in the cement.

The burial place of John Campbell Miles, the founder of Mount Isa, is on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Miles Street. His ashes are buried underneath a large statue where each panel represents a significant part of Mount Isa. Miles' ashes used to be watched over by a large clock where the statue now stands.

The World War II-era Mount Isa Underground Hospital is an historical building that has been registered on the Register of the National Estate and the Queensland Heritage Register. It is an air-raid shelter which could function as a hospital was a precautionary measure taken after Darwin was bombed in 1942.[12] Local miners excavated the site which remains today as the only underground health facility in Queensland which was built during World War II.[12]

The Xstrata Mount Isa Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic is held annually, and after 2011 will also be followed by a Fishing, Camping and 4x4 Expo. The Fishing Classic is the richest fresh water fishing event in Queensland.[25] Catching the tagged Barramundi fetches the greatest prize money.


Mount Isa experiences mining in mt isa hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classificationBSh), mining in mt isa. The summer/wet season is very hot with highly variable rainfall and humidity owing to the erratic influence of the monsoon. This can be almost non-existent in years like 1985/1986, where as little as 83 millimetres (3.3 in) fell from December to March, or extremely intense as in 1973/1974 when 789 mm (31.1 in) of rain fell over the same period. A typical summer includes numerous hot windy days over 40 °C with clear skies and low humidity, a few weeks of 35-40 °C temperatures with higher humidity and spectacular thunderstorms and a few days with heavy monsoon rain and cooler conditions below 30 °C.

The winter or dry season is warm and almost completely rainless with median monthly rainfalls from April to September below 2 mm (0.08 in), though nights can be quite cool and about once every three years a minimum below 0 °C (32 °F) is recorded. On rare occasions winter rain-bearing systems may bring heavy rain for a day or two, such as in June 2007, when 111.8 mm (4.40 in) of rain was recorded; however, such occurrences happen only every 5 years or less. The lowest temperature recorded at Mount Isa is −2.9 °C (26.8 °F) on 7 July 1984 and the hottest is 45.9 °C (114.6 °F) on 29 January 1990. The wettest 24 hour period on record was 213.0 mm (8.39 in) on 15 January 2004.

Climate data for Mount Isa
Record high °C (°F)45.9
Average high °C (°F)36.4
Average low °C (°F)23.8
Record low °C (°F)15.4
Average rainfall mm (inches)118.6
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)35383227292825201818222726.6
Mean daily sunshine hours8.
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[26]

Culture and sport[edit]

Athletics,[27] Rugby League, cricket, netball, soccer, field hockey, Rugby Union, Australian Rules Football and tennis are the most common sports but Shooting, Squash, Softball, Basketball, BMX racing, and Ten-Pin bowling are also present. Mount Isa has a Go Kart Club[28] situated off Mining in mt isa Road on the southern side of town.

Mount Isa also has a cinema complex, situated in the inner city on Rodeo Drive, that contains three air-conditioned cinemas, a skate park/aquatic centre and a multi-purpose sporting complex for basketball and other indoor sports. Mount Isa's events complex, Buchanan Park, opened in May 2007, can hold up to 6,000 people and is used for special events such as concerts and expos. It is also the home of the city's annual show and rodeo.

In 2008, plans were made to build a massive motor sports complex on the city's north-eastern outskirts, but as of 2016 it had not been built.[29]

The city is known for its annual Rodeo and Mardi Gras street parade every August. There is also an annual Multicultural Festival in early September.

The local theater group, the Mount Isa Theatrical Society, also known as MITS, often holds plays and musicals, at least once every few months.

In July 2015, Mt Isa formed its own Symphony Orchestra, acclaimed as the "most remote in the world".[30] Inaugurated on 23 July, the event attracted several stars of the music world, including world-famous jazz musician James Morrison. Morrison also figured in the premiere of Matthew Dewey's 'Symphony of the Inland Sea', mining in mt isa, composed for the occasion.[30]

On the 5th March 2017, Mount Isa was chosen as a host city of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay, along with Cloncurry, Hughenden, Winton and Birdsville. The baton will pass through the CBD and suburbs and regions on route before the opening ceremony on the Gold Coast.

Festivals and events[edit]

Mount Isa Rodeo[edit]

The Mount Isa Rodeo has been held annually since 1959. In additional to the rodeo itself, there are associated street parties, music events, market stalls and family entertainment.[31] The Rodeo Queen Quest raises money for charities; the Rodeo Queen is crowned at the Rodeo Ball.[32] Rodeo school is available for aspiring bull riders.[33] It is 2009 bitcoin mining largest annual rodeo event in the Southern Hemisphere. It is organised by the combined Rotary clubs of Mount Isa.[34]

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Mount Isa Rodeo was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as an "event and festival".[35]


Mount Isa had an estimated resident population of 21,998 people in 2016,[1] housed in 6,285 dwellings,[2] making the city the largest and most populous in Queensland's western interior, and one of the largest centres in outback Australia. The district population is 30,243 and incorporates the Cloncurry, Boulia, Burketown, Carpentaria, Doomadgee, Flinders, Mornington and Richmond shires.[citation needed]

The 2011 census found that 52.8% of residents were male and 47.2% were female.[36] However, mining in mt isa, a rumour has circulated that the ratio of males to females living in Mount Isa was five to one. Former Mayor John Molony drew international press attention in August 2008 when he told the Townsville Bulletin newspaper that Mount Isa's gender imbalance made it a good place for "not so attractive" women to live.[37][38]

Franchises such as Mining eth with gtx 1060, KFC, Hungry Jack's, Pizza Hut, Subway, K-Mart, Best & Less, Donut King, Coffee Club, Blockbuster, Harvey Norman, mining in mt isa, Bunnings, Boating Camping and Fishing and EB Games have established stores in Mount Isa, as well as many smaller locally owned businesses, many in the Mount Isa Village Shopping Complex and Simpson Central Arcade in the Central Business District.


The Leichhardt River divides the city into areas known as "mineside" and "townside". Xstrata, the power station and the Airport are on the mineside, whilst the majority of the city, including the CBD and Base Hospital are on the townside. In recent years,[when?] population increases associated with the mining boom has increased demand for accommodation and land.[citation needed] The city has begun to spread out, with new suburbs in the south-east and north of the city being planned or developed. It is planned these expansions will cater for more than 40,000 people over the next 10 to 20 years.[39]

  • Happy Valley, Queensland - includes Happy Valley State School, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, and Captain James Cook Park
  • Kalkadoon - includes Mount Isa Airport and Kalkadoon Park
  • Mica Creek – includes CS EnergyMica Creek Power Station
  • Miles End - includes Mount Isa train station
  • Parkside – Mount Isa's largest and oldest suburb. Contains the Irish Club, Parkside Flats complex, and Playway Park
  • Soldiers Hill – All streets and parks named after war locations and soldiers, such as Kokoda Road and Gallipoli Park
  • Hilton - More commonly known as Mineside, on the same side of the railway line as Mount Isa Mines and the Incitec Pivot Sulphuric Acid plant. Employee housing, particularly for managers and visiting staff from Xstrata, Casa Grande; a white brick mansion built for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II; now used for the annual Casa Grande Ball, and some mine operations.
  • Breakaway Estate - Semi-rural acreages
  • Fisher
  • Healy - Residential suburb, site of Healy State School
  • Healy Heights - New suburb, development ongoing, with several houses finished.
  • Lanskey
  • Menzies – includes Buchanan Park events complex, Stables and Racecourse.
  • Mornington
  • Mount Isa City - The Central Business District
  • Mount Isa East – has own post office and smaller shopping centres
  • Pioneer – includes a campus of TAFE Queensland North, Spinifex Senior Campus and Ten-Pin Bowling complex, St Kierans Catholic Primary School
  • Ryan – mostly industrial, includes army and State Emergency Service barracks, home to one company of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment[40]
  • Spreadborough - mostly bushland and light industry. The notable Spreadborough family still resides in the area.
  • Sunset - Home to Sunset State Primary School, and some shopping facilities
  • The Gap
  • Townview - Home to Townview Mining in mt isa Primary School
  • Winston


Mount Isa city and surrounds are serviced by a 35 vehicle taxi service. A taxi service known as "Isa-Curry" express transports passengers to and from the neighbouring centre of Cloncurry to Mount Isa and back again, usually for shopping and medical requirements. Additionally, many of the city's clubs have courtesy buses to and from their establishments that run seven days a week and into the early hours of the morning. Mount Isa Coaches is a locally owned and operated coach company that provides tours and charter services to the local community as well as mining, sporting, school and airport transfers. Greyhound Australia has a depot in Mount Isa, with coach services to and from Townsville, Brisbane and Tennant Creek.

Mount Isa Airport has regular daily services to Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville, in addition to other services to remote Outback communities in western Queensland. The primary carriers which service Mount Isa and district are Qantas/QantasLink - Brisbane and Townsville; AirNorth - Darwin and Gold Coast; Regional Express - Townsville. In November 2009, it was announced that Skytrans and Westwing Aviation will commence flights in and out of Mount Isa to and from cities on the coast, commencing in February 2010. Regional Express (REX) also announced flights between Mount Isa and Townsville starting after December 2009. Virgin Australia (VA) began services in August 2012 and offers return services from Brisbane on weekdays.

The city is served by QR passenger train The Inlander, which travels overnight to Townsville twice a week in each direction.

Water infrastructure[edit]

Mount Isa's water is supplied from Lake Moondarra, 13 km (8.1 mi) from Mount Isa, and from Lake Julius, 60 km (37 mi) from Mount Isa. As it costs approximately twice as mining in mt isa to supply water from Lake Julius, the water is normally drawn from Lake Moondarra. However, during periods of drought, it becomes necessary to draw water supplies from Lake Julius. The three major water users are the Mount Isa Mines, Incitec Pivot and the Mount Isa City Council (which in turn supplies residents and smaller businesses).[41]

Due to a prolonged drought, water levels in Lake Moondarra have become very low. In April 2013, it was forecast that Lake Moondarra would be reduced to 40% of capacity by July 2013, which would trigger the need to supply additional water from Lake Julius. The increased cost to the Mount Isa Council for water was estimated to be $800,000 per year ($114 each for 7000 households).[42] Water restrictions in the town were escalated in April 2013 to reduce water consumption.[43] Boating on Lake Moondarra would be restricted if water levels reduced to 20% for safety reasons as the lower water levels would reveal obstructions.[42] The fish in the lake will be at risk if Lake Moondarra falls to 10% capacity.[44]

Water has traditionally been processed using a natural filtration process involving reed beds in a large isolated lagoon, which, after disinfecting, produced water to acceptable standards under the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.[41] However, the prolonged drought has produced climatic conditions that have caused blooms models of mining blue-green algae in Lake Moondarra, Lake Julius and the Clear Water Lagoon, necessitating the temporary introduction of a large filtration plant to remove the algae.[41]

On 22 January 2015, Lake Moondarra was at 85.3% capacity.[45]


Mount Isa has eight public primary schools and three private primary schools:

And four high schools:

  • Good Shepherd Catholic College (private)
  • Mt Isa Flexible Learning Centre (private)
  • Mount Isa School of Distance Education (to grade 10)
  • Spinifex State College - Three campuses, Junior from grade 7 to grade 9, Senior from grade 10 to grade 12, and Residential; for students who don't have a high-school in their region and need to leave their place of residence to access years 7-12.

And Early Childhood Education:

Mount Isa is also home to the School of the Air, a unique-to-Australia way of schooling isolated students in Australia's vast lightly populated country areas. The city also mining in mt isa the main campus of the Mount Isa Institute of TAFE, offering courses in a wide range of fields, including mining, agriculture and trades. In addition, James Cook University has a presence, with the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health in the Base Hospital complex.



The following radio stations are available in the Mount Isa region:

  • AM 666 4LM (commercial)
  • FM 100.9 Mob FM (commercial-70% country)
  • FM 101.7 ABC Classic FM
  • FM 102.5 Hot FM (commercial)
  • FM 103.3 4TAB (horse racing)
  • FM 104.1 ABC Triple J
  • FM 104.9 ABC News Radio
  • FM 105.7 Radio Rhema (religious)
  • FM 106.5 ABC Local Radio
  • FM 107.1 ABC Radio National


Five broadcast television services operate in Mount Isa — commercial stations Imparja Television and Southern Cross7 (formerly known as ITQ Channel 8, QQQ, QTV and QSTV- Queensland Satellite Regional Television), and the Government-owned ABC and SBS. Imparja has a programming affiliation agreement with the Nine Network. Aboriginal focused channel NITV (National Indigenous Television) broadcasts on UHF Channel 35.

Digital Television transmissions have commenced in Mount Isa. New channels provided by the ABC and SBS can be received with a digital set top box or digital television. Additional channels from the commercial broadcasters that are available in most other areas of Australia are expected to commence transmission in 2011-2012. Analogue television transmissions will be switched off by 31 December 2013.


The North West Star is a local newspaper which is printed daily Monday to Friday. The Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail and the Townsville Bulletin are also available.

Notable people[edit]

  • Simon Black, Australian rules footballer
  • Charlie Cameron, Australian rules footballer
  • Lindy Chamberlain, wrongly imprisoned for the murder of mining in mt isa baby, mining in mt isa, which was subsequently attributed to dingo attack. In the movie Evil Angels, made about the incident, Mount Isa appears at the beginning scenes of the movie as the hometown of the Chamberlain family
  • Altiyan Childs, winner of the second season of The X Factor
  • Peter Crawford, basketball player
  • Gerard Denton, cricketer
  • Nathan Fien, rugby league player
  • Karen Foxlee, novelist
  • Jamie Goddard, rugby league player
  • Pat Mackie, union leader (1964/5 dispute)
  • Simmone Jade Mackinnon, actress
  • Deborah Mailman, actress
  • Gene Miles, rugby league player
  • Greg Norman, golfer
  • Scott Prince, rugby league player
  • Matt Pyne (Rugby Union administrator)
  • Pat Rafter, tennis player
  • Bill Sweetenham, Olympic swimming coach[46]
  • Carl Webb, rugby league player
  • John White, squash player

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abc"3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, mining in mt isa, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.  Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ ab"2011 Census Community Profiles: Mount Isa". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^"Mt Isa". 
  4. ^"Mount Isa Water Board - Trustee of Lake Moondarra, Mount Isa". 
  5. ^"Official Mt. Isa page, using "The Isa" term". Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  6. ^"Air quality in Mount Isa". Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^"Compelling new evidence shows Mount Isa mining emissions are contaminating the city and are the cause of childhood lead poisoning". Macquarie University. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  8. ^"Mining blamed for Mount Isa's woes". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  9. ^Field, Donna (9 February 2017). "Mount Isa mine a source of 'potentially significant' lead pollution, Glencore-commissioned report finds". ABC Online. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  10. ^"Aboriginal Hostels Limited". 
  11. ^Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  12. ^ abcdCook, Penny (2006). Discover Queensland Heritage. Corinda, Queensland: Pictorial Press Australia. p. 17. ISBN 1876561424. 
  13. ^"Former Underground Hospital, Mount Isa (entry 601102)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  14. ^"Tent House (Mount Isa) (entry 600742)". Queensland Heritage Register. Mining in mt isa Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  15. ^"Mount Isa tent house on the move". 15 March 2013. 
  16. ^"Bower Bird Battery (entry 601863)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  17. ^"Mount Isa Mine Early Infrastructure (entry 601182)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  18. ^"Casa Grande (entry 601094)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  19. ^"2016 Mount Isa City Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  20. ^
The Attorney General of Queensland, John Mullan, officially opened the railway line on 6 April 1929
Panorama of Lake Moondarra from lookout above Transport Bay. July 2014. Mount Isa, Queensland.
Mount Isa State School, mining in mt isa, 1929

Mount Isa - Wikipedia

All Mining jobs in Mount Isa, QLD on, the search engine for jobs in Australia. A 1923 silver-lead ore discovery in Queensland, Australia, lead to the formation of Mount Isa Mines and the development of Read More. Thanks to massive revenue, sustained annual growth and a 250,000-strong workforce, the mining industry is a vital part of Australia's economy. Xstrata Plc operates the Mount Isa Mines lease adjacent to the city, which comprises the "Enterprise" underground copper mine, X41 underground copper mine. Affectionately known as the 'oasis of the outback', Mount Isa is a gleaming mirage on the horizon for travellers from all directions. Find your ideal job at SEEK with 111 Mining jobs found in Mount Isa QLD 4825. View all our Mining vacancies now with new jobs added daily!

A 1923 silver-lead ore discovery in Queensland, Australia, lead to the formation of Mount Isa Mines and the development of Read More. Affectionately known as the 'oasis of the outback', Mount Isa is a gleaming mirage on the horizon for travellers from all directions. Find your ideal job at SEEK with 111 Mining jobs found in Mount Isa QLD 4825. View all our Mining vacancies now with new jobs added daily!

A 1923 silver-lead ore discovery in Queensland, Australia, lead to the formation of Mount Isa Mines and the development of one of the world’s great mines. By the 1960s, Mount Isa was the hub of a lead, zinc, silver and copper supply network, including smelting, refining and recycling facilities in Europe.

In 1970, MIM Holdings succeeded Mount Isa Mines but, while diversifying in the 1970s and 1980s, management seemingly neglected Mount Isa. Revitalisation started in the late 1980s. The rising cost of processing Australian intermediates led MIM to withdraw first from copper and then lead-zinc smelting activities in Europe. These, plus improvements at MIM’s coal operations, encouraged Xstrata to make an offer for the Group which took effect in mid-2003. Swiss-based and and partially owned by Glencore International, Xstrata has widespread ferroalloy, zinc and coal interests, to which it added world-class nickel and copper assets with its take-over of the Canadian company, Falconbridge, in 2006.


Today, the 320km² Mount Isa lease encompasses not only the Isa operations but also the George Fisher mine. The ore mineralisation is stratiform, occurring in the 1,600 million-year-old Lower Proterozoic Urquhart Shale sequence. At Mount Isa, the sequence is 1km thick and dips at 65°. The orebodies lie within the upper 650m and are bounded by the Mount Isa fault on the west and by volcanic greenstones to the east. Comprising galena and sphalerite with pyrite and pyrrhotite, the lead-zinc-silver orebodies are concordant with carbonaceous dolomitic sediments, interfingering with the silica-dolomitic mass hosting copper. Over 20 ore zones are mineable, each up to 1.4km long by 800m deep and from 4m to 48m wide.

As of mid-2005, Xstrata reported that the underground Isa lead mine had proven reserves of 0.4Mt grading 5.9% zinc, 4.7% lead and 140g/t silver, and measured resources of 1Mt at approximately 7.3% Zn, 6.3% Pb and 180g/t Ag. The Black Star open-pit mine is based on reserves of 23.9Mt grading 5.1% zinc, 3.1% lead and 60g/t silver. Outside the Black Star project, the Mt Isa area has an open-pit mineable resource of 84.5Mt grading 4.1% zinc, 3.5% lead and 82g/t silver.


“Xstrata has widespread ferroalloy, zinc and coal interests, to which it added world-class nickel and copper assets with its take-over of the Canadian company, Falconbridge, in 2006.”

The Isa mine, concentrator and crude lead-smelting operation started in 1931. Today’s lead mine has one 1,144m-deep shaft (R62) providing the main service access to nine levels between 611m and 1,076m below surface and skip ore hoisting from the crushing system on Level 20. Two rail systems, one on Level 15 and the other on Level 19, dump ore and waste to the crushing station. Level 19 trains also haul from the X41 copper mine to crushing stations at the base of the U62 hoisting shaft. In 2002, MIM installed a Micromine mine control system.

Large stable sections are open-stoped from sub-levels; below, weaker parts of the hanging wall slices up to 12m wide and 250m long are mined by bench stoping, which replaced cut-and-fill in the early 1990s, reducing costs and increasing productivity. MIM invested in flexible mobile equipment from competing suppliers and introduced centralised tele-remote ore loading. Various fill formulations based on combinations of process wastes, rock and cement, stabilise the voids.

The new 2.3Mt/y Black Star pit, sited above the Lead mine and based on 25Mt of reserves, started production early in 2005 and yielded 1.4Mt of ore by the year-end. Mining should continue for 11 years.


The present lead mine concentrator was built in 1966 with rod and ball milling, lead-silver flotation, zinc flotation and low-grade middlings recovery circuits. In 1982, MIM added heavy-medium separation to pre-concentrate the mill feed. Later enhancements have included column cell flotation. To process the George Fisher ores, Isa increased the plant’s capacity to 2.5Mt/y in mid-2000, adding ISAmills for ultra-fine regrinding and improving the cleaner flotation and thickener operations to increase the recoveries, concentrate grades and throughput.

A blast furnace converts sintered lead-silver concentrate to lead-silver bullion for subsequent refining at the Northfleet refinery in the UK. Zinc concentrates are currently exported and low-grade middling concentrates go mainly to Imperial Smelting Process plants.


Performance improved again in 2005. The mines delivered 4.78Mt of ore, of which 4.4Mt were treated, yielding 231,000t of zinc in cencentrates, 160,000t of lead-in-bullion and 11.36Moz of silver in crude lead. The cash cost after by-product credits was US$0.329/lb of zinc.


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