Protesters disrupt International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne

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Protesters outside the mining conference in Melbourne. Image Twitter: Jim Robertson Protesters outside the mining conference in Melbourne. Image Twitter: Jim Robertson

Climate protesters are aiming to disrupt the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Tuesday 29 to Thursday 31 October.

The conference is Australia’s largest annual industry event and attracts more than 7,000 delegates from 100 countries.

Protestors from 11 activist groups including Extinction Rebellion and Antifa created blockade-style protests with the aim of causing maximum disruption to the conference.

Multiple reports state more than 20 protestors have been arrested after failing to abide by police instructions. One protestor has been taken to hospital after being injured by a police horse.

“Police continue to arrest protesters blocking access to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre,” a spokeswoman said. “Exact arrest numbers will be provided when we have them.”

Conference organisers say the protest action is based on misconceptions about the mining industry. This year the event will consider the importance of battery minerals, used in the emerging electric car market, and the growing importance of ethical investment for resource companies.

"There is a misconception that as an industry mining does not operate with sustainable principles in mind," a statement read.

Pioneer Resources chair, Craig McGown, who had a bottle of water poured over him by a protester, was pushed and had a woman shouting "shame" at him.

"I'm just very confused by people having too much time off," McGown told AAP.

"I'm just in attendance at the conference because my company is involved in major projects that can help the country move forward."

Despite initial concerns over traffic disruptions, VicRoads says traffic is flowing through nearby streets and trams are running. The protests are planned to go on until Thursday.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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