Why is this ASX mining stock crashing 27% today?

This decline could actually be good news for shareholders.

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The market may be pushing higher on Tuesday but the same cannot be said for the Red Hill Minerals Ltd (ASX: RHI) share price.

The ASX mining stock is the worst performer on the All Ordinaries index today by some distance.

In fact, at one stage today the Red Hill Minerals share price was down as much as 27% to $5.68.

It has recovered a touch since then but remains down 22% to $6.19 at the time of writing.

Why is this ASX mining stock crashing?

The good news for shareholders of Red Hill Minerals is that this decline isn't anything to be worried about. Rather, it could be something to get very excited about.

That's because the ASX mining stock is crashing today after trading ex-dividend for an upcoming special dividend.

When a share trades ex-dividend, it means the rights to an upcoming dividend are now settled and new buyers will not be entitled to receive the payout on pay day.

A dividend forms part of a company's valuation. And if you're not going to receive it, then you don't want to pay for it when buying shares. This means that a share price tends to drop to reflect this.

But why such a big decline? Well, that's simply because the company is paying out an extremely large dividend.

Big dividend

This West Pilbara-based iron ore, gold, and base metals explorer recently announced the sale of a 40% interest in the Onslow Iron Project via the Red Hill Iron Ore joint venture to Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN).

And with the Onslow Iron Project recently reporting its first shipment of ore to China Baowu Steel Group, this triggered the second payment of $200 million to the ASX mining stock from Mineral Resources.

Last week, the company revealed that it would be returning proceeds from the sale to shareholders. It said:

The Board of Directors of Red Hill Minerals Limited is pleased to advise that it has resolved to pay a special dividend of $1.50 per ordinary share, fully franked at 25%. The dividend will be sourced from the second of two $200 million payments received from Mineral Resources Limited for the sale of the Company's 40% interest in the Red Hill Iron Ore Joint Venture.

Based on its share price at the close of play on Monday, this represents a sizeable 19.2% dividend yield.

Eligible shareholders can now look forward to receiving this dividend next week on 19 July.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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