January 30, 2017 / 10:58 PM / a year ago

Australia's Iluka says expects 2016 loss after impairments

SYDNEY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Miner Iluka Resources said on Tuesday it expects top show a net loss of A$220-A230 million ($166 -$173 million) for 2016 as it refocuses on operations in Sierra Leone and writes off non-operating assets, mainly in Australia.

Iluka said the decision to book A$201 million in non-cash impairments follows a review of assets in Australia, the United States and Sierra Leone, where it recently completed an A$375 million acquisition of Sierra Rutile. Iluka showed a net profit of A$53.5 million in 2015.

The world’s largest producer of zircon, and the second-largest producer of titanium dioxide feedstock rutile and synthetic rutile, said the writedown related mainly to its idled operations in Australia’s Murray Basin.

“Our review has been aimed at generating shareholder value and, with the completion of the Sierra Rutile acquisition, Iluka has added a large, long life asset with strong growth potential,” Managing Director Tom O‘Leary said in a statement.

“It’s against that backdrop that we’ve reviewed the likelihood of developing some of Iluka’s mineral deposits in Australia and the United States,” O‘Leary said. ($1 = 1.3245 Australian dollars) (Editing by Sandra Maler)

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