Mount Isa’s George Fisher Mine Profile


Located near Mount Isa in Queensland, the George Fisher mine is one of the largest silver, zinc and lead mines in the world. Named after former Mount Isa Mining (MIM) chairman from the 1950s and 1960s, George Fisher, the mine is located two kilometres north of the earlier discovered Hilton mine. It supports in excess of 2,000 employees and contractors across its Mt Isa and Townsville operations.

Geologists originally discovered deposits at Hilton dating back to 1947. Due to market conditions (specifically the low metal prices of the time), production did not begin at the mine until 1990, despite Mount Isa Mining (MIM) starting development of the site in 1969. By 1998, production at Hilton began to slow with the most accessible ore already mined and MIM now shifting focus to the nearby George Fisher site. Production officially began in mid-2000 at the new site.


In 2003, the Anglo-Swiss mining company Xstrata acquired the George Fisher mine when they took over MIM Holdings Ltd. A merger between Xstrata and Glencore in May 2013 birthed the new entity GlencoreXstrata, however a decision by the shareholders at the annual general meeting a year later saw “Xstrata” dropped and name simplified to Glencore.

George Fisher has proven and probable ore reserves of 88.7 million tonnes (as of 31st December, 2018) and is mined a production rate of 2.5 million tonnes per year. The site has two separate mining areas, George Fisher South and North, which employ bench mining and open-stoping mining methods of extraction from a depth of over 1.1 kilometres. Open-stoping can be utilised when the rock surrounding the target ore is strong enough to permit drilling without artificial support.

Remote-controlled load-haul (LHD) is then utilised to shift the extracted ore, which is treated at the Hilton concentrator. The concentrator is designed to recover three different products from the ore and transform them into a slurry, which is then shipped to the Mt Isa mills for processing. A significant upgrade of the concentrator and lead smelter was required to meet the desired ore output capacity.

Who owns George Fisher mine?

The mine is now owned by Glencore, the British commodity trading and mining company, following its merger with Xstrata in 2013. Prior to Xstrata acquiring the mine in 2003, it was owned by Mount Isa Mining Holdings Ltd.

Where is the George Fisher mine?

George Fisher is located 20 kilometres north of Mount Isa, in North West Queensland. It is situated two kilometres from the earlier discovered Hilton mine.

What is the George Fisher mine address?

The address of the mine is as follows:

George Fisher Mine
Barkly Highway
Mount Isa QLD 4825

What is mined at George Fisher mine?

The mine produces zinc, lead and silver and is one of the largest mines of its type in the world.

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