8 Jan 2012

Derailment cleanup ordered

7:07 am on 8 January 2012

An Australian mining company has been ordered to clean up toxic mineral ore at the site of a train derailment in the Northern Territory.

About 1200 tonnes of copper concentrate was washed from a freight train into the Edith River, about 50km north of Katherine, during a flash flood on 27 December.

Federal agency WorkSafe says the material is a health and environmental hazard.

Oz Minerals has until the end of the month to transport any remaining material to the South Australian border.

The ABC reports the company has special permission to transport the ore in tarpaulin covered wagons, even though this practice is now banned.

WorkSafe says the rules have been relaxed so the ore can be quickly taken away.

The agency is worried wet season rain and storms will wash the remaining ore into the river.