India's environment ministry gave a conditional green light for Posco’s $12bn steel mill, a government statement said.

The mill in eastern Orissa state has been delayed by criticism it would ruin lives of thousands of poverty-stricken people, who say the plant will disrupt their betel leaf plantations and forest-based livelihoods.

The clearance has come with 28 new conditions that include riders such as no construction in high erosion zones and no industrial activity in coastal regulation zone area.

The plant will have a capacity of 4Mt/y and a 400MW power plant.