Monto is a town in Queensland, Australia, located on the Burnett Highway 500km north-west of Brisbane and 235km south of Rockhampton. The town is the administrative centre of Monto Shire. The shire has an estimated population of 2,500, of which over half live in the town of Monto itself.
Europeans settled in the area in the late 1840s, maintaining large pastoral holdings at the northern end of the Burnett Valley. Gold unearthed along Three Moon Creek – a tributary of the Burnett River – in the 1870s attracted further settlers. The original site of the diggings, 30km north of present-day Monto, has since been flooded by construction of Cania Dam. The township of Monto was not formally established until 1924. With dwindling gold reserves, Monto turned its economy towards farming and logging, two of the region’s major industries today. Deposits of thermal coal and limestone have been discovered in the shire.
Tourism is also a major industry in the region. Besides being a major highway town, the chief local attraction is Cania Gorge National Park, 20km north of town.
In 2006, Monto Minerals floated on the Alternative Investment Market in London, raising approximately AUD $41,000,000 before expenses. It has since announced its plans to begin commercial production of Feldspar, Ilmenite, Apatite and Titanomagnetite from its site at the Goondicum crater, just outside the eastern border of Monto Shire by the second quarter of 2007.
Coal mining company Macarthur Coal also owns large amounts of land in the Mulgildie area.