Eleven species of troglobite have managed to block a massive new mining development in Western Australia.

Despite having no eyes and little exposure to life outside of their cave, the tiny spider-like creatures have won an unlikely battle against multi-national mining company Rio Tinto over the $10bn (£5bn) scheme.

Environmental protection officials rejected the iron ore mine proposal after hearing of the impact the development would have on the 4mm troglobites – five of the eleven newly discovered species are likely to be made extinct if the operation went ahead.

Rio Tinto is likely to appeal the decision, which could pose a threat to other mining operations in Western Australia if the tough new environmental requirements are upheld and fully implemented.

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