Representatives of the Gomeroi people plan to visit every town in New South Wales to highlight their opposition to a coal mine in the state's north.
Matthew Sadler

4 Feb 2014 - 4:50 PM  UPDATED 5 Feb 2014 - 1:12 PM

The Gomeroi people have joined environmentalists on a ‘culture ride’ protesting against the Maules Creek mine near Boggabri.

The group aim to get as many signatures as they can in order to gain access to the mine area, which they say contains burial sites and other cultural artefacts.

Traditional owners say the federal government has failed to protect the site.

"What they need now is to get the Gomeroi nation onside, [and] the whole of the nation to support them in objecting and fighting against Whitehaven from a very, very significant area with an open cut coal mine and the destruction of a state forest," said Gomeroi spokesperson Michael Anderson.

The elders claim that the mine’s owners, Whitehaven Coal, has desecrated the burial grounds of their ancestors.

"They don't care about the native title process, they’re not negotiating in good faith, and they're ready to go a full-blown war on this this one because it's quite a rich mine," said Mr Anderson.

In a statement, Whitehaven Coal said they had worked hard with all registered Aboriginal parties to ensure that sites of cultural significance are respected and preserved.

Whitehaven Coal is arguing that a majority of local traditional owners share their view.