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Why the Iluka share price is cratering this week

The Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price fell 7% or 70 cents to $9.29 today after losing 9% yesterday on the back of a trading update for the six months to June 20 2019 that shocked investors.

Yesterday the company reported that total mineral sands production was down 20.2% on the prior corresponding half year period, with synthetic rutile mineral sands down 24.2%. The fall was partly due to the decommissioning of a mine in Sierra Leone and lower than expected production at the Lanti mine in the west African country.

The lower production translated into a 24.2% sales drop which has disappointed investors who had bid the stock up around 25% over just the course of calendar year 2019 prior to the update.

The mineral sands miner has a net cash position of $2 million and net debt of $142 million when including a $79 million final dividend payment. 

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson 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.

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