Miner Sandro Mereu told Reuters Monday that the dozens of workers from a 460-worker crew seized about 350 kilograms (about 771 pounds) of the company’s explosives overnight Monday.
They are protesting underground inside the Carbosulcis Nuraxi Figusm operation near Cagliari in southwest Sardinia.
The group, estimated to be 400 meters (1300 feet) underground, is aiming to put pressure on the government which is planning a meeting this week to discuss the mine’s future.
“We are worried that the mine may close,” the 28-year mining veteran told the news service.
“We are afraid for our jobs. We are prepared to stay here until we hear a response from the government that secures the future of the mine … we will stay here indefinitely.”
Reuters as well as a national news feed Europe Online reported the miners were seeking to relaunch and diversify the mine for operations and carbon capture using government funds for clean energy projects.
One unidentified miners told EO that they would lose their jobs without the government’s investment.
The Carbosulcis mine is Italy’s only coal operation. It is estimated to have 600 million metric tons of reserves.
It was occupied previously in 1984, 1993 and 1995. During the last occupation protestors stayed in a tunnel for 100 days.