Mount Isa is the largest city in North-West Queensland and services a region comparable in size to Victoria, making it the mining, industrial and commercial capital of North-West Queensland. Mount Isa is also the main service centre for health, public administration and community services.
Mount Isa’s existence and its main financial base is the huge Mount Isa Mines, the world’s largest single producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc. Mount Isa Mines is one of the most productive mines in the world, based on its combined production. Cattle grazing and tourism are other major industries of note. The mine’s history dates back to the 1920’s when John Campbell Miles found a silver-lead ore outcrop and sent a sample to Cloncurry to be assessed. Miles pegged two leases to begin with and soon, 500 were filled – Mount Isa Mines took over operations in 1924. This rich deposit is still producing high volumes of ore and is classed as one of the world’s great mines.