Activists dressed in bat suit costumes have shut down Idemistu’s Boggabri coal mine after using harnesses to suspend themselves upside down on the site’s coal loader.
According to environmentalist group Front Line Action on Coal, activists dressed as bats scaled the coal loader early this morning and unfurled a banner that read ‘Save the Leard’.
The mine has been shut as a result of the action with police forced to remove the protesters after they refused to descend from the loader after more than nine hours.
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.”
Idemitsu Australia Resources CEO, Rod Bridges, confirmed police were called to the site this morning.
“Ongoing instances of civil disobedience are both illegal and dangerous, and are a deliberate waste of local police resources,” he said.
“We are working with police to ensure the community and staff at Boggabri Coal Mine remain safe, and normal mining operations can continue.”
Protests at the Boggabri site are not uncommon, with activist 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.”