Iluka Looks to Re-open WA Mine

Iluka Resources says it plans to re-start a Western Australian mine due to what it says is an improving mineral sands market.

Iluka’s latest quarterly sales revenue was line with the same period a year ago, as prices remain weak since dropping sharply in 2012.

However the company says it is through the worst of a prolonged downturn that led it to mothball some operations.

Activities are underway for a possible restart of mining at its Tutunup South mine in January 2015, it said.

Iluka has been encouraged by the level of customer interest being shown in securing volume from a potential restart of synthetic rutile production, it said.

Iluka’s mineral sands mining operations produce zircon and rutile, which are used in ceramics, paints and a range of industrial products.

The company is also benefiting from a lower Australian dollar, and managed to make an $11.7 million half year profit in 2014.

Despite the positive outlook, Iluka’s revenue for the first nine months of the year of $491 million was down seven per cent from $528.7 million in the same period in 2013, due to lower received prices.

Iluka’s shares were down 26 cents, or 3.4 per cent, at $7.47 at 1130 AEDT.

Revenue for the three months to September’s end of $147.7 million compared to $147 million in the same period of 2013.

Mineral sands production of 214,300 tonnes was down from 276,500 tonnes.

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