Hume Coal has been turned away from a Southern Highlands property as an anti-coal mining protest enters its fourth week.
Protesters, including many nearby residents, blocked off a private road at Sutton Forest earlier this month to stop the company from accessing a property where it plans to carry out exploratory drilling and environmental monitoring.
Tuesday was the first time during the Carters Lane blockade that the company tried to bring equipment onto the property.
Southern Highlands Coal Action Group convener Peter Martin said company representatives had tried to enter with a ute and tractor, but turned away without incident when they couldn't pass through the barricade.
The company yesterday confirmed it had been prohibited from accessing the property.
"We remain disappointed that our legal right to access the property is being denied and that the express wishes of the landholder, who has entered the access agreement, are being ignored by a minority of the local community," Cockatoo Coal's external affairs manager, Kelly Lofberg, said.
She said four company representatives had investigated the property on Monday.
Cockatoo Coal is a partner in the Hume Coal project.
Most evenings, the blockade feels more like a community picnic than a determined anti-coal protest.
Mr Martin said community members planned to remain at the private road for "as long as it takes" and had created a roster for the barricade.
"No-one wants to do this, but we have no option given that these companies won't listen to landowners or the local community," Mr Martin said.
He added that the "low key" protest had been a "great bonding experience" for the community.
Major concerns related to the impact of coal mining on groundwater.
Hume Coal has entered into an access agreement with Robert Koltai, one of the property owners, who uses the private road.
Mr Martin this week said Mr Koltai had told the company he wished to end the agreement.
Mr Koltai yesterday said that was only "partially correct".
A major factor in the dispute was a covenant that existed over properties in the area to bar commercial activities other than agriculture, he said.
He said he had received a letter from the solicitor for the original landholder, threatening possible legal action against him.
Based "solely on the letter", he wrote to Hume Coal and said he wanted to terminate the agreement only if it was required under the covenant.