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Industry and Business

Mount Isa came to existence because of the discovery of a large mineral deposit over 90 years ago and even today; mining and supporting industries are the cornerstone of our strong economy. Other major components of the Mount Isa economy include mineral processing, tourism and agriculture.

Mount Isa is the largest city in North West Queensland servicing a region comparable in size to Victoria; making us the mining, industrial and commercial capital of North West Queensland. Mount Isa is also the region's main service centre for health, public administration and community services.

Mount Isa has a strong and diverse economy and presents an excellent opportunity for personal and business development. Recently released Census statistics identified the region to have a lower than average unemployment rate and residents to have a higher than average median weekly income in comparison to those recorded for both Queensland and Australia.

A key asset in Glencore's global mining portfolio, Mount Isa Mines operates two separate mining and processing streams, copper and zinc-lead-silver, to deliver natural resources that have enduring roles in our society.

Mount Isa Mines' world-class resource base includes about 124.5 million tonnes of zinc and 357 million tonnes of copper (measured, indicated and inferred). Its operations comprise two underground copper mines, an underground zinc mine and two open cut zinc mines, a copper concentrator and smelter, as well as a zinc-lead concentrator, lead smelter and zinc-lead filter plant. These assets represent the world's largest zinc resource base, the biggest network of underground mine development in the world and Australia's largest industrial complex.

As well as the Australian market, Mount Isa Mines' products are exported to countries throughout Asia, Europe and the UK, contributing billions of dollars to the Australian economy every year. The company provides work for more than 5,000 employees and contractors and is dedicated to supporting local people, local businesses, and creating strong links between its operations and the city of Mount Isa. Mount Isa Mines does this through generous contributions to local health, education, cultural and capacity building initiatives and the funding of vital public services and infrastructure development projects. Since 1924, Mount Isa Mines has been at the heart of life in 'the Isa'. For more information, visit www.mountisamines.com.au.

In addition to Mount Isa Mines, Glencore also operates Ernest Henry Mining (EHM) near Cloncurry, Lady Loretta mine north of Mount Isa, and the Copper Refinery and Glencore Port Operations in Townsville.

The overall population growth and economic advancement of this unique community is additionally supported by smaller mining companies, a diverse service network, transport operations and retail industries.

The City's high level of disposable income has paved the way for many entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of the City's vast opportunities. Our success stories include small owner operator businesses growing to multi-million dollar franchises, with outlets across the nation. Mount Isa's business network has significantly progressed over the past few years. Supported by an active Chamber of Commerce and development bodies, business operators continue to develop acumen and expand markets.

 The City is home to many franchises such as:

  • Autobarn
  • Best and Less
  • Bunnings
  • Coles
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Donut King
  • EB Games
  • Harvey Norman
  • Hungry Jacks
  • K-Mart
  • McDonalds
  • Pizza Hut
  • Reco
  • Rockmans
  • Supercheap Auto
  • The Coffee Club
  • Sports Power
  • Subway
  • TJM
  • Zambreros


Many smaller locally-owned businesses are located in the rejuvenated Central Business District. The recent injection of private and public investment has developed what was once labelled as "just a mining town" into a thriving cosmopolitan city.

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