The difficult task of cleaning up a spillage of copper concentrate from a derailment on the Emu Bay railway has begun.
Officers from the Environment Division have inspected the site near Que River with a crew from Pacific National and have completed initial water tests.
Director of Environmental Management Warren Jones said it was believed about 250 tonnes of concentrate was lost from six derailed wagons.
He said steep terrain would make the recovery operation difficult.
"Pacific National has used an excavator to recover as much of the concentrate as possible and a vacuum truck will be railed in to continue the clean up," Warren said.
"Initial water testing has shown little impact on the river.
"Samples downstream of the derailment have also been taken and the site will be inspected again this week."
The derailment is at the site of a previous derailment of a log train.