Transport of Prominent Hill concentrates
Copper-gold concentrates produced at Prominent Hill are transported via the Adelaide to Darwin railway to Port Adelaide and the Port of Darwin to international customers.
There were no reported incidents of non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes related to the safety and health impacts of our products, information and labelling, breaches of customer privacy, losses of customer data or marketing communications during the reporting period.
All sale contracts for OZ Minerals’ products contain agreed levels of chemical specifications, including maximum limitations for any potential deleterious elements that may be contained in or derived from the ore or production processes. Monitoring and testing regimes are maintained to ensure adherence to all of these contractual commitments. This process of consultation and contracting assists in prevention of issues in downstream smelting or refining of OZ Minerals’ products.
All customers and transport providers are supplied with a Material Safety Data Sheet that describes safety, health or environmental hazards associated with our product.
Edith River incident
On the 27 December 2011, a Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) train travelling north to Darwin derailed in bad weather near Edith River, Northern Territory. The incident resulted in approximately 1,200 tonnes of OZ Minerals’ copper concentrate entering the flooded Edith River. OZ Minerals recovered a significant amount of concentrate, which was returned to Prominent Hill.
Our prompt activation of our Emergency Response Plan enabled us to respond to the derailment in a timely and appropriate manner.
Water quality tests were conducted by the regulator, the Northern Territory’s Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NRETAS) from 28 December 2011 until February 2012. Water quality tests showed low levels of copper*. The Department of Health (DoH) confirmed that these results are well below the health guideline values in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011, and are not likely to present a human health or safety concern.
In 2012, OZ Minerals will conduct regular monitoring of the Edith River derailment site and carry out further remediation works as necessary and as agreed with the regulator.
* Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport Media Releases: Edith River Test Results 04.01.12, 10.01.12, 18.01.12, 27.01.12, 10.02.12 and 24.02.12.
Transportation using containers/rotainers
To improve the environmental standards of our ship loading operations at Darwin and to implement export from Adelaide, OZ Minerals has implemented a new method in regard to handling our copper concentrate. The system involves the use of specially designed containers to transport copper concentrate from Prominent Hill to ports in Darwin and Adelaide. The containers are offloaded using the rotainer system. Once a shipment is ready to be loaded, the container is set into the rotainer unit and the crane raises the rotainer from the wharf into the hold of the ship. When the unit is in the hold, the rotainer unit lifts the lid, rotates the container and the concentrates are released into the hold. The empty containers are then transported back to the mine for the next load.
This system gives OZ Minerals the flexibility to use both the Adelaide and Darwin ports, and it enables us to bypass a concentrates shed and traditional loading facilities. The first copper concentrate shipment using the new handling system was exported from Adelaide in January 2012.