Northern Territory derailment spill cleared

 A copper spill on the Northern Territory’s Edith River has finally been cleared.

In last December a train carrying copper concentrate derailed after a flash flood took out sections of a rail bridge over the Edith River.

Around 1200 tonnes of copper concentrate from OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine washed from the train into the river as it traveled north to Darwin.

Two employees from Genesee and Wyoming Australia (GWA), which operated the train, were safely evacuated.

Following the incident, OZ stated that "given the large volume of water flowing through the system it is likely that any concentrate that has been impacted by the spill would be highly diluted".

OZ Minerals was ordered by NT Worksafe to remove the remaining concentrate and to facilitate the clean up of the river.

However, any copper concentrate found which was not in the immediate vicinity of the derailment was not subject to the orders, NT WorkSafe added.

According to the ABC, the majority of the spill has now been cleaned, with the last wagonloads of copper concentrate heading back to Prominent Hill.

OZ previously only transported the concentrate in open wagons covered by tarps; however it is now planning to use sealed containers.


Image: – Michael Franchi


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