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What Drives Karumba and the area

The main economic drivers in the Karumba area include:-

1.  Commercial Fishing

2.  Pastoral Industry

3.  Tourism

Port of Karumba - information from Ports Corporation Queensland website

For more detailed information on the Gulf economy just go to the Gulf Savannah Development site or respective council sites across the region.


Located at the mouth of the Norman River in the south-east corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Port of Karumba has serviced remote Gulf communities since the late 1800s. The Zinifex Century Mine started exporting zinc concentrate through the port in December 1999 (known then as Pasminco).  This operation then sold to MMG which saw it through to the conclusion of mining at Lawn Hill Century Mine in late 2015.

Zinc slurry was piped 304km to the port from the mine, dewatered, and loaded onto a 5,000 tonne transfer vessel for the 40 km journey to export ships that anchor in deep water in the Gulf of Carpentaria.  This operation concluded in late 2015 with the Karumba Port facilities being 'mothballed' for an indefinate period.

Other facilities in the port provide for general cargo, fuel, fisheries products, and the export of live cattle.  Currently the dredging of the shipping channel has ceased and the future for Karumba Port in terms of larger vessels and live export is uncertain.


The Port of Karumba is currently at Security Level 1. For more information on security requirements at Karumba, click on the following link SECURITY INFORMATION.


In 2007-08, the Port of Karumba exported 997,477 tonnes of zinc, 58,747 tonnes of lead, 10,272 tonnes of general cargo and 12,659 head of livestock.

A total of 64 ships visited the port in 2007-08.


JUL 95,688 105,641 109,990
AUG 71,703 219,650 80,095
SEP 31,416 84,625 119,901
OCT 93,492 7,421 73,109
NOV 91,785 146,802 57
DEC 83,201 91,947 79,061
JAN 67,631 54,839  
FEB 20,469 78,832  
MAR 86,291 116,403  
APR 114,505 94,540  
MAY 90,553 91,447  
JUN 79,852 54,043