Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has received forest clearance from the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests for its Chiria iron ore mines in Jharkhand, India.

SAIL plans to develop Chiria mines at an estimated cost of Rs50bn ($1bn).

SAIL chairman CS Verma said the company would ensure that mining in Chiria left no marks on the environment and that a truly sustainable development in the area was possible.

SAIL will perform only mining and crushing activities in the mines and take the iron ore out of the forest area through a conveyor system, to ensure environmental protection.

The company has begun development activities and expects to produce seven million tons of iron per annum initially.

The iron ore produces from the Ajitaburu, Budhaburu and Sukri-Latur leases of Chiria iron ore mines will be used for SAIL’s steel plants located in Jharkand, West Bengal and Orrisa states.