SAIL has initiated the process of renewing leases and resumption of operations for nine of these mines; seven faced various obstacles in three states. While one mine in Odisha commenced operations earlier this year, another mine in Chhattisgarh was given clearance in October. However, four mines in Jharkhand, two in Odisha and one in Tamil Nadu are still awaiting various approvals, including environmental impact assessments, wildlife management plans and conversion of forest land for mining.
Although this does not currently have a direct impact on SAIL's operations, the continuation of these mining leases is vital to the company's capacity expansion plans. According to an internal note from the Ministry of Steel, the Ministry of Mines has not currently issued any notification of expiring leases and the matter is being reviewed on a case-by-case basis for renewals. The steel ministry has instructed SAIL to pursue the matter with the relevant state governments.