India's top court has kept a ban on bauxite mining in hills in the eastern state of Odisha considered sacred by residents, whose opinion it has ordered to be sought on whether digging would disrupt the environment or their livelihoods.
The Supreme Court also allowed just nine more iron ore mines to restart in the southern state of Karnataka, in another decision reflecting the competition between the claims of environmental and social rights groups and the need for resources to power Asia's third-largest economy.
The approvals will help domestic steel mills desperate for raw material, but there will still be no exports of iron ore, as the state government has not issued transport permits.
The court stripped about 49 mines of their leases because they had been mining illegally. Taken together, the mines had produced about a third of Karnataka's iron ore.
The Odisha mining project was planned to supply up to 150 million tonnes of ...