Last week, as many as 100 Sardinian coal miners barricaded themselves 370m underground with a sizeable amount of explosives in an impassioned strike to protect their jobs at the Carbosulcis mine.
On Wednesday, miner Stefano Meletti amplified the tone of the protest when he slit his wrist during a local television news conference.
According to Reuters, a meeting with local and regional government representatives on Friday resulted in a statement that the mine, which employs 500 people, would not be close and authorities would review a project to “make it compatible with the latest technology and make it economically sustainable”
“We have decided to abandon the occupation,” Meletti was quoted as saying.
Carbosulcis miners have asked the Italian government to approve a plan to convert the mine into a site that conducts both mining and carbon capture.
However, Undersecretary of Economic Development Claudio De Vincenti told national newspaper the La Repubblica that the conversion would be costly, about $US314 million a year for eight years.
“That's almost 200,000 Euros per miner,” he said. “It’s an unsustainable cost.”