NT floods costly for OZ Minerals

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Recent flooding, which has impacted on road and rail transport in the Northern Territory has resulted in a costly mishap for OZ Minerals.

 A Genesee & Wyoming Australia train travelling north to Darwin derailed in bad weather near Edith River.


The freight train derailed at the Edith River Crossing after flood
waters washed away the tracks. Picture: Michael Franchi. Source:
Northern Territory News.

According to OZ Minerals a number of the wagons on the train were carrying copper concentrate from its Prominent Hill mine.

The total tonnage of copper concentrates being railed on the train was approximately 1,500 dry tonnes.

“The total value of the concentrates on the train was in the order of US$7-8 million and preliminary discussions on the loss have been initiated with various parties,” OZ Minerals said in an ASX announcement.

“This is not considered financially material for the company.”

The flooding has limited access to the area, which OZ Minerals said has made it difficult for it to determine exactly how much copper concentrate may have been lost due to the derailment.

Early assessments carried out by the company indicate that the amount in the wagons which derailed into the river might be in the order of 1,000 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes.

OZ Minerals said a more detailed assessment will be carried out as soon as there is safe access to the train.

“From an environmental perspective, in consultation with the relevant authorities, concentrate that is accessible will be cleaned up when the area can be safely accessed,” the company said.

“Given the large volume of water flowing through the system it is likely that any concentrate that has been impacted by the water would be highly diluted.

“The OZ Minerals Crisis Management Response was initiated on notification of the incident.”

The company reiterated its previously announced intention to commence containerised rail transport through Adelaide and Darwin early in the first quarter of 2012.

“It is expected that copper concentrates shipments planned for Q1 2012 will all be completed before the end of the quarter,” OZ Minerals said.

“There has been no impact to operations at Prominent Hill.”