3 ASX stocks that were yesterday's biggest losers

On a flat day for the ASX, these 3 resources stocks stood out as the biggest losers

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The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) barely moved yesterday, rising just 13 points to close at 4,314.3. These three stocks all managed to fall by more than 5.5%.

Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU) fell 12.2% to close at $14.01, after reporting that it was reducing production of zircon because the global outlook remains unclear. Production will fall from 500,000 tonnes to 430,000 tonnes, with sales of zircon likely to be 400,000 tonnes. Cost of production is set to rise from A$650 a tonne to A$700 a tonne. The company also announced that capital expenditure was likely to rise from $220m to $260m in 2012.

In this article, back in January 2012, I highlighted lower zircon production and very high capital expenditure as the main reasons why I was steering clear.

Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS) fell 7% to 47 cents, continuing its slide from a high of over $1.73 in September 2011. This gold miner has seen falling production, with one of its mines, Wattle Dam originally due to close in 2013. It now looks like it will close earlier due to low grade levels, and lower production. Underground mining at Wattle Dam has now ceased and surface drilling commenced in March 2012. The company expects to produce 20,000 ounces of gold in the June 2012 quarter.

For the half year to December 2012, Ramelius reported net profits of $16.1m, a fall of over 50% from the prior corresponding period.

Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) fell 5.6% to close at $1.53. Another gold miner, with mines in Tanzania, Mali and Australia, Resolute has seen its share price fall from over $2.20 in the last 12 months. This is on the back of a falling gold price, and a coup in Mali. The miner expects to produce over 400,000 ounces of gold this financial year, although some analysts have expressed doubts about whether the company will meet those forecasts.

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