A group of activists have shut down Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine today after scaling a coal loader at the site.
According to environmentalist group Front Line Action on Coal, two people scaled the coal loader and unfurled a banner that read “Protect Our Water (in English); Water is for Everyone (in Japanese)”.
The mine has been shut as a result of the action with the activists refusing to come down from the loader.
The activists say they are protesting against Idemitsu’s expansion plans which they claim will lead to the “destruction of the Leard State Forest”.
“Globally, there is only 0.01% of critically endangered box-gum woodland left in good condition, of which the Leard State Forest contains the largest remnant," it said.
"It is time for JBIC and ANZ to stop funding coal projects. It is not worth investing in, especially considering the swell of resistance from local and broader communities.”
Idemistu’s CEO said while people had a right to express their views, the company was concerned for the safety of anyone accessing the operating mine site.
“What these people are doing is both illegal and dangerous, and it interrupts our company and our people from doing their job and making a living,” he said
The company said it was working with police to manage the instances of civil disobedience at the mine.
Protests at the Boggabri site are not uncommon, with environmental groups promising to do what they can to hamstring the development of a number of coal projects in the area.
A spokesperson for the group has previously said it “will not give in until this forest is protected.”
Today’s incident marks a continuation of civil disobedience in the area with protests also being carried out at the nearby Muales Creek mine project.
Activists say the development of the two mines will clear more than 4000 hectares of the 7500-hectare Leard State Forest.
Three protesters who chained themselves to gates and vehicles to prevent Whitehaven Coal from accessing its Maules Creek mine site were arrested on Monday.