International Ferro Metals (iFM) has decided to restart its second South African furnace at Buffelsfontein in mid-August, following a rise in ferrochrome demand.

The furnace will be ramped up to reach 90% production by mid September 2009, IFM said.

The company said it is confident that, with Chinese stainless steel mills now operating at or near capacity, both of its furnaces will operate at the Eskom-constrained 90% capacity level from that time.

The company also plans to resume all its underground mining operations in February 2010.