Public sector steel firm SAIL on Tuesday said the Jharkhand government had agreed to renew leases of Chiria iron ore mines to meet the current needs of the company.

Chairman and managing director of SAIL S.K. Roongta said: “The Jharkhand government is agreeable to renew the leases for current needs of the company.”

SAIL has a unit at Bokaro in Jharkhand, the capacity of which is being expanded from five mtpa to seven mtpa.

Mr. Roongta, on the sidelines of a symposium here, told reporters that SAIL had asked for renewal of 10 leases, out of which four were under dispute, he said.

He said SAIL had sought a reserve of 1000 mt of Chiria ore from the Jharkhand government.

“The government had given a written communication to provide 810 mt, and an additional 200 mt later,” he said.

Chiria mines belonged to steel firm IISCO at Burnpur in West Bengal, which was taken over by SAIL in 2006—07. It was then renamed at IISCO Steel Plant.

Mr. Roongta said the Jharkhand government was not accepting the automatic transfer of Chiria leases to SAIL, but it was agreeable now.

To a query, Roongta said the company was also looking for coking coal assets abroad. “We are in discussions with some countries,” he said.

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