PROTESTERS against the exploration of brown coal in Bacchus Marsh chained themselves for an hour in the Melbourne office of the mining company’s financial underwriter yesterday.The move followed a rally held earlier in the day on the corner of Collins and Swanson streets in protest against Mantle Mining, the Western Australian company behind the project.Rally organiser and Friends of the Earth, Australia spokesman Shawn Murray said the chaining was an attempt to send a message to the entire financial community to withdraw from the program. “Four people locked themselves to each other and sat in the mining company’s underwriter Cygnet Capital’s foyer on the 10th floor (in Melbourne),” Mr Murray said. “They were joined by a dozen people.”Mr Murray said the action was part of their plan to start direct action against the coal mining exploration bid.“We take strong exception to finance companies investing in the destruction of our farmlands and climate by looking to dig up and export coal,” he said.Last week, Intersuisse withdrew its backing from Mantle Mining for undisclosed reasons. However, Cygnet Capital general manager Mark Davis said the protest had not affected their decision to underwrite Mantle Mining. A police spokeswoman said the four activists were arrested and released. They will be charged for trespassing. Mantle Mining did not return The Courier’s phone calls.