Broken Hill (map) is an isolated mining city with a current population of approximately 21,000. Located near the border with South Australia on the crossing of the Barrier and Silver City Highways in the Barrier Range, the town sits 220 metres above sea level. It has an average rainfall of 235 mm and summer temperatures that hit in excess of 40° C. The closest major city is Adelaide, which is more than 500 km to the southwest in the neighbouring state of South Australia. Unlike the rest of New South Wales, Broken Hill (and the surrounding region) observes Australian Central Standard Time, UTC+9:30, a time zone it shares with South Australia and the Northern Territory.
The town is more than 1100 km west of Sydney and surrounded by semi-desert. It is named after the hill on which silver ore was first discovered in 1883 by boundary rider Charles Rasp. The term 'broken hill' was derived from a series of hills that appeared to have a break in between . The hills no longer exist having succumbed to mining but the body of ore for which Broken Hill is famous continues to generate economic growth. Formed about 1800 million years ago, it is the world's largest silver-lead-zinc mineral deposit.
Broken hill suburbs include Alma, Broken Hill, Broken Hill Central, Broken Hill North, Broken Hill Railway Town, Broken Hill South, Broken Hill West and Yanco Glen.
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