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Why the Iluka Resources Limited share price just hit a multi-year high

The Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price printed a new multi-year high at $11.87 on Thursday, following the release of the company’s quarterly activity report.

Iluka produces zircon and rutile, two minerals that find a wide range of applications, from paint and ceramic to fibre optics.

The company is enjoying favourable market conditions, with these materials in high demand and tight supply. Iluka raised its reference price for zircon by 15% to US$1,410 per tonne for the six months to September 2018, while increasing the price of rutile by 8% for the first half of the year.

In the three months to March 31, revenue grew 10% over the previous quarter to $264 million, thanks also to an 8% increase in production volumes, with the Jacinth-Ambrosia mine returning to maximum production after nearly two years of maintenance.

The improved performance allowed Iluka to cut its net debt down 40% to $108 million over the first quarter of 2018.

The company maintains a positive outlook, expecting strong prices over the short and medium term.

According to analysts’ estimates, the stock trades at 19x forward earnings – despite the 43% price increase of the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Tommaso Autorino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.