Afarak's first half revenues rose to â¬104.1m - up from â¬80.3m last time - and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased to â¬17.5m from â¬4.1m.

In the second quarter Afarak's EBITDA increased to â¬4.8 million, compared with â¬0.8 million, a year earlier.

It said this robust improvement was mainly driven by higher ferrochrome prices and strong market fundamentals.

Other second quarter highlights include:

- Revenue increased by 20.0% to â¬47.4m

- Processed material sold decreased by 26.4% to 20,773 (Q2/2016: 28,214) tonnes, reflecting the full switch from silicomanganese to ferrochome production at Mogale

- Tonnage mined increased by 2% to 41,427 (Q2/2016: 40,618) tonnes

Chief executive Guy Konsbruck said: "Afarak continued to achieve solid and robust results in 2017.

"In quarter two, we achieved another positive result with group EBITDA reaching â¬4.8 million, up from â¬0.8 million a year earlier.

"Ferrochrome prices, though lower than in quarter one, have had a positive impact on our results.

"This result was in line with the market sentiment we expressed in quarter one.

"Going forward, market volatility remains and the benchmark price for quarter three has been further reduced.

"On the other hand, we have been successfully reducing our COP in all business units, and continue to focus on further improvements via various programmes.

"Operationally, we have performed well across both business segments. We have increased revenues considerably, due to higher market prices than a year earlier.

"Management's interventions, including the switch of furnaces to ferrochrome and the resumption of open-cast mining, have also yielded results.

"During the quarter, management also preserved working capital and decided to temporarily halt production at our EWW plant in Germany, to manage levels of inventory and do early maintenance. We subsequently reduced our scheduled maintenance stop in July by one full week.

"Euroalliages has initiated a case calling for protectionist measures in favour of EWW in response to non-European producers.

"This confirms the strategic role EWW has in Europe as the sole ferrochrome producer.

"Despite our operational advances, safety must be a top priority in our work.

"I believe that we can improve our performance in this area and the Company has increased its investing in its South African operations to further enhance health and safety.

"This is a key priority for the new board that was elected during our annual general meeting in May 2017."

At 8:09am: (LON:AFRK) Afarak Group share price was 0p at 77.5p