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Iluka share price rises after quarterly review

This morning, the Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price rose 1.24% to $9.42 following the release of the company’s quarterly review. The Iluka share price has since retreated slightly to sit at $9.35 per share at the time of writing, up 0.54% on yesterday’s close

What was in the announcement?

Illuka reported total zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile production of 135,000 tonnes in the quarter ended June 2020. Iluka’s Zircon production was down 16% compared to the first quarter of the year, as the company intentionally reduced production due to economic uncertainty.

The company’s rutile production was down 29% compared to the first quarter of the year, due to lower run time and throughput at the company’s Sierra rutile asset. Synthetic rutile production was up 10%, which the company attributed to higher ilmenite quality and plant upgrades.

Iluka sold 242,000 tonnes of zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile during the first half of 2020, a reduction of 19.87% compared to the first half of 2019 when the company sold 302,000 tonnes of the same materials.

The company sold 53,000 tonnes of zircon in the second quarter of 2020 compared to 25,000 tonnes in the first quarter of the year, however, sales were affected by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Chinese and European markets. 

Iluka sold 66,000 tonnes of titanium in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 98,000 tonnes in the first quarter. The company announced that rutile prices were up 7% since the first half of 2019. It also announced that Zircon prices fell 6% in the first half of 2020.

Iluka also announced that it had completed commissioning of its Eneabba operation during the quarter, with 9,000 tonnes of monazite-zircon concentrate material shipped ahead of schedule.

The company had net cash of $62 million at 30 June 2020. It had free cash flow of $46 million in the first half of 2020, and invested $50 million into capital expenditure. 

Iluka also announced that all mining and processing sites were operational in the current environment.

About the Iluka share price

Iluka is an Australian-based resources company that explores and develops mineral sands assets. The company is the world’s largest producer of zircon, titanium-based rutile and synthetic rutile.

In June, Iluka announced that one of its customers had defaulted on its obligation to take and pay for 20,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile. Proceedings have since been made by Iluka in the Supreme Court in the state of New York.

The Iluka share price is up 63.46% since its 52-week low of $5.72. It has risen 1.52% since the beginning of the year. The Iluka share price is down 1.3% since this time last year.

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Motley Fool contributor Chris Chitty 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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