Iluka Resources production falls

Iluka's shares fell in morning trade after announcing total mineral sands production was lower in the September quarter.

Shares in Iluka Resources slid after (ILU) total mineral sands production fell in the September quarter in response to lower demand.

Iluka's stock declined 2.8% to $10.17 in the first few minutes of trade after announcing it produced 276,500 tonnes of total mineral sands in the three months to September 30, down from 397,500 tonnes in the September 2012 quarter.

Total mineral sands production in the year to date was 848,500 tonnes, down from 1.2 million tonnes in the previous corresponding period.

The figures include total zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile production of 142,300 tonnes in the quarter, down from 202,100 tonnes in the previous corresponding period.

Total zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile production in the year to date was 380,400 tonnes, down from 645,900 tonnes in the previous corresponding period.

"The lower production reflects Iluka's ability to flex production downwards in response to lower demand at the low point of the business cycle," the group said.

Iluka said lower production levels are in line with previously announced operational adjustments, while the group was preserving capacity to respond quickly to market demand recovery.

Iluka said the average Australian/United States dollar exchange rate was 91.6 cents in the quarter, down from 99.2 cents in the June quarter. 

As most of the group's revenue is denominated in US dollars, a lower exchange rate is favourable for revenues translated into the reporting currency, Iluka said. 

The group said it is continuing exploration activities in Australia and internationally. 

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