Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine has restarted operations after closing yesterday when two activists gained unauthorised entry to the site before scaling a coal loader.
The two people entered the mine site before midday yesterday before climing to the top of a coal loader and unfurling a banner that read “Protect Our Water (in English); Water is for Everyone (in Japanese)”.
The mine was shut down until around 5:30 when the protesters were led off the site by local police.
Idemitsu says coal crushing operations re-commenced at approximately 6:00pm.
The activists say they are protesting against Idemitsu’s expansion plans which they claim will lead to the “destruction of the Leard State Forest”.
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
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.”
Yesterday’s incident marks a continuation of civil disobedience in the area with protests also being carried out at the nearby Muales Creek mine project.