Prices for a new iron ore export from Germany have surged to their highest in two years as supplies of the commodity continue to be limited.
The British metal mining industry has been in a slump after falling from a peak of $7.6bn in December to $2.4bn on Tuesday.
But the market is now looking at a profit of $2bn by the end of March, compared with a loss of $500m a day a month earlier, according to Bloomberg.
The rise in prices comes after the European Commission announced plans to ease import quotas for the mineral as part of a wider EU plan to combat global warming.
There are now no more than 10 million tonnes of iron ore imported to the EU each year, down from 14 million tonnes in September.
Iron ore exports to the UK are largely made up of copper and nickel ore, and the metals were previously the major export commodities for British steel, steelmaking and steelmaking machinery.
In the first three months of the year, exports of iron to the United States were up 2.4 per cent, while imports from China were down 1.2 per cent.
Iron ore prices in the United Kingdom are likely to rebound by about 20 per cent to about $8.50 a tonne by the start of March.