Mount Isa Region
The outback Queensland city of Mount Isa has been cut in two by floodwaters following heavy rainfall.
Mount Isa (/ˈaɪzə/ 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.
With an estimated urban population of 21,821 as at June 2015, Mount Isa is the administrative, commercial and industrial centre for the state's vast north-western region. Although situated in an arid area, the artificial Lake Moondarra 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".
Due to the lead production in the city, Mount Isa has one of the most intensive air quality monitoring systems in Australia. Concerns have been raised over childhood lead contamination and air pollution within the city.[7
More than 100mm has fallen over the city since Thursday t Isa Post Office opened on 1 August 1924.
A location for the town's hospital was chosen in 1929, with a small building completed the following year. In 1931, a larger structure was moved to the site from the closed mining town of Kuridala.
Mount Isa has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Camooweal Street: Underground Hospital
Camooweal Street: Tent House
Mount Isa Mining District: Bower Bird Battery
on Mount Isa Mine Lease: Mount Isa Mine Early Infrastructure
Nettle Street: Casa Grande
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 2015 Local Government Elections, is Joyce Mccullough. The City of Mount Isa LGA jurisdiction, covering 43,188 km2 (17th largest in Queensland), is one of the largest in the world in terms of area 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
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. Copper and lead are smelted on site, with copper anodes and zinc concentrate being transported 900 km (560 mi) 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) out.
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 denied responsibility and stated that the town has naturally high levels of lead in the soil. However, aafternoon and one car was swept off a causeway.
Senior Sergeant Jeff Magnus told ABC radio motorists should stay at home, saying "if it's flooded, forget".
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