The Whyalla blast furnace is on track to be fully operational again next month after being restarted on the weekend, the British owner of the South Australian steelworks says.

GFG Alliance chairman Sanjeev Gupta travelled to Whyalla on the weekend and was briefed by the team of experts working to fix the furnace, which had been offline since mid-March.

Hot metal is now flowing from the furnace after a successful connection was made to an emergency tap hole at the weekend.

Mr Gupta said it was an “important milestone” for the repair effort and the steelworks was expected to return to usual operations in June.

“I want to reassure our people and the Whyalla community that we are committed to getting our plant back to normal production as soon as possible,” Mr Gupta said.

“We are now seeing concrete progress.

“I have every confidence our expert team will soon bring our high-quality steel-making back to normal production.”

The furnace was damaged when it cooled too much during a planned two-day stoppage for routine maintenance. It was further damaged during repairs earlier this month.

The blast furnace at the Whyalla steelworks has been restarted.(ABC News: Justin Hewitson)

Many of the 1,100-strong Whyalla workforce remain on up to 30 per cent less pay until the steelworks is fully operational.

Mr Gupta said he had met with Whyalla Mayor Phill Stone and other community leaders.

“I remain committed to the future of Whyalla and achieving our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 through our green steel transformation,” he said.

GFG Alliance recently announced its transition to green steel had been pushed back by at least a year, as it committed to a $500 million electric arc furnace (EAF) and a direct reduction iron plant (DRI) for the Whyalla steelworks.

The company said the time line now better matched the availability of natural gas and the hydrogen required, some of which is expected to be supplied by the hydrogen power plant the South Australian government plans to build nearby.

In January, the federal government committed $63 million to GFG’s green steel plans, while the state government promised $50 million for the project.