A freight train has derailed spilling tonnes of zinc concentrate on the tracks in north Queensland.
The train was carrying the load to a foundry at Townsville when it derailed at Mingela about 8.15am (AEST) on Sunday.
The Department of Community Safety (DCS) says the locomotive and driver are unscathed, but 21 carriages full of zinc concentrate have tipped over, spilling the powder all over the tracks.
Each carriage was carrying between seven and eight tones of zinc concentrate, meaning at least 147 tonnes was spilt.
Officers from the Department of Environmental and Heritage Protection (DEHP), Queensland Fire and Rescue Service's Scientific Branch are on the scene to work out how to clean up the spill.
The DEHP said the spill could take weeks to fully clean up.
Paramedics are also on scene to monitor the officers.
Neither the state government nor the DCS could confirm who owns the train.
Further comment is being sought from the government.
Source: Industry Search