Iluka revises rutile guidance further downward after Sierra Leone strike

By Cameron Perks
Published: Thursday, 20 December 2018

A one-week strike at Iluka’s operations in Sierra Leone caused the miner to lower its rutile production guidance for the second time this year.

The maximum rutile production from Iluka's Sierra Leone subsidiary, Sierra Rutile, will be in the range of 125,000-130,000 tonnes this year, the company said. But this assumed a quick ramp-up of activities as well as improved operational performance in the fourth quarter.

The operation previously had a guidance of 135,000 tonnes of rutile for 2018, depending on when the strike issue was resolved.

The current guidance of 125,000-130,000 tonnes of rutile is a significant reduction from the 160,000 tonnes forecast at the beginning of the year. In July, Iluka had downgraded its full-year production guidance figure for Sierra Rutile by 15,000 tonnes to 145,000 tonnes due to operational performance issues.

The latest news comes at a time when rutile prices are rising because of tight supply and strong demand.
Iluka Resources announced the "unlawful strike action" at Sierra Rutile on October 23.