Top five unusual mining protests

Mining is, without a doubt, a divisive industry.

There are many who oppose it, while reaping the benefits that the industry provides increasing our modern industrialised society.

Some oppose mining on philosophical grounds, some oppose it on environmental grounds, and some because it seems like an easy thing to rail against and they are unaware of the benefits that mining actually provides.

However not all protests are the same. Some go that little step further, are a little more left of centre (if you excuse the pun), and some are very inventive.

Australian Mining has gathered the most interesting top five recent mining protests.

5. The coal blockade – A different way to protest, instead of hitting the mine or the company’s headquarters or bank (because protesting at a random ANZ is going to change a company’s mind), these people with Rising Tide took to the sea for the annual blocking of Newcastle Port. More than 300 kayakers blocked the port to deny entry, or exit, for coal carrying tankers.

4. Penguins at the Prospect Awards – A personal one here for the Australian Mining team. A duo of protestors dressed as penguins crashed the Australian Mining Prospect Awards last year. While the incident was unfortunate enough for us, it was also unfortunate for them as they were there to present an award for worst investment to Whitehaven Coal, however they were not there nor did they have anything at all to do with our mining awards. Oh well, they were nice gentlemen all the same.

3. The million dollar protest – What kind of list would it be without the protest/activism that managed to wipe hundreds of millions from Whitehaven Coal. Jonathon Moylan, as well all know, put together a fake ASX release from ANZ purporting to pull all support. The case has gone to court and Moylan was found guilty and given a Good Behaviour Bond.

2. Human Disco Ball – To celebrate two years of blockading the Maules Creek coal mine, protestors held a ‘civil disco-bedience’ featuring a human disco ball.

1.Putting it all out there – A bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but this protest definitely garnered international attention. Model Robin Lawley took to instagram to demonstrate her opposition to the approval of the Carmichael coal mine, showing her feelings, and a fair bit of herself, in the process.


Have we missed one out or do you know of a slightly unusual protest? Let us know by emailing at or hit us up on twitter @ozmining . 

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