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The industry in the Isle Valley is structured around the river. The Isle river, made navigable (40 locks), was once used for freight transport. The earth's subsurface, whose limestone subsoil is very homogenous, was and is still exploited for the production of natural lime.

The water of the river and its tributaries, used as driving force, was used to produce energy that started up turbines and engines. In that way, mills and tanneries transformed into shoe factories. This industry, which was particularly flourishing in 1970s, employing thousands of people, has nearly disappeared.

Nowadays, the industrial activity is more modest. It employs hundreds of people especially in the field of cosmetics and lime production.

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Usines à chaux de Saint-Astier