Iluka Resources Ltd., the world’s biggest zircon producer, reported fourth-quarter sales rose 27 percent after increasing output from new mines as demand gained.
Sales after hedging in the three months ended Dec. 31 were A$295 million ($294 million) compared with A$233 million a year earlier, the Perth-based company said in a statement. Total mineral sands production in the quarter was 416,500 metric tons, up 51 percent on a year earlier. Zircon output more than doubled to 123,500 tons, beating an estimate of 118,000 tons by UBS AG.
“The increase in year-on-year production volumes reflects a recovery in global demand for Iluka’s products,” the company said. Customer demands are exceeding output, it said.
Iluka shares closed in Sydney 2.3 percent higher at A$9.02 on the Australian stock exchange.
Mining at the Murray Basin operation in Australia’s Victoria state has been slowed by heavy rain this year, it said. The wet conditions aren’t expected to affect forecast output for the first quarter, it said.
The Murray Basin and the Jacinth-Ambrosia mines are Iluka’s newest operations.