PERTH (miningweekly.com) − The Northern Territory safety regulator NT WorkSafe has ordered ASX-listed copper miner Oz Minerals to clean up a copper concentrate spill from the Edith river, following a train derailment late in December.
A flash flood wiped out sections of a train track, causing a train carrying ore from the Prominent Hill operation to derail and leaving around 1 200 t of copper concentrate in the river.
The miner said at the time that given the large volume of water flowing through the system, it was likely that any concentrate that had been impacted by the water would be highly diluted.
NT WorkSafe said in a statement that it had now issued a direction to Oz Minerals to remove the copper concentrate from the river area. Oz Minerals is required to transport the copper concentrate in intact sheeted bulk containers by no later than the end of January, to prevent dust escaping during transport, to the Northern Territory/South Australian border.
The direction was issued under Section 51 of the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail Act.
“The Act allows an authorised officer to issue a direction to prevent further harm to the environment or to property following an incident which has created a dangerous situation that is likely to cause harm to the environment or damage to property,” said NT WorkSafe executive director Laurene Hull.
“It is important that this material is moved before another extreme weather event and to allow the reconstruction work to proceed unhampered,” she added.
The total value of the concentrate on the train was estimated to be around $7-million to $8-million, and Oz Minerals previously stated that preliminary discussions on the loss had been initiated with various parties.
The miner intended to start its new containerised rail transport through Adelaide and Darwin early in the first quarter of 2012.