Montes Claros (môNˈtəsh kläˈrŏsh) [key], city (1996 pop. 271,324), Minas Gerais state, E central Brazil. Cattle breeding is the chief economic activity, and agriculture is important. Montes Claros has a large cloth industry dating from before World War I; furniture is also manufactured. The city has a commercial airport and good road and rail facilities.