Hundreds of protesters resisted a government order to end their demonstration over a controversial joint venture with China to mine copper in northern Myanmar.

Activists protested against the Monywa mine – a joint project between military owned Myanmar Economic Holdings and Chinese group Wanbao – over land grabbing issues and alleged corruption. The demonstration also called for a halt to the project and demanded Wanbao to leave the country.

The home ministry had warned protesters to vacate their camps near the copper mine but about 300 protesters refused to leave, activist Hein Zaw Win told AFP.

On Tuesday, police had detained eight activists for defaming the state.

“A protest march is fine but their anti-government slogans were too much,” a police officer told AFP.

According to the home ministry, an end to the protest was necessary to allow a parliamentary commission to investigate on the project. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to visit the site on Tuesday.