MRC 0.00% 8.3¢ mineral commodities ltd

A possible takeover target

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    The South African's think they are worth 63 cents/share and they are cashed up, too. No wonder the directors are considering a on market share buyback

    MELBOURNE, May 8 AAP - A revitalised Iluka Resources has
    indicated it wants to buy a rival mineral sands company,
    consolidating its position as one of the world's biggest mineral
    sands miner.
    The comments from chairman Ian Mackenzie came as the Perth-based
    titanium minerals and zircon producer said profits in 2002 were
    likely to be in line with last year's operating result of $107.8
    Mr Mackenzie said the company would not pursue growth for
    growth's sake, but he'd certainly consider being a player in the
    consolidating mineral sands sector.
    "We're looking at some direct opportunities within our
    industry," Mr Mackenzie told reporters after Iluka's annual
    Asked if Iluka would be interested in tantalum producer Sons of
    Gwalia Mr Mackenzie noted that apart from an interest in the Murray
    Basin in Victoria's north west, they largely operated outside
    Iluka's core operations.
    Mr Mackenzie also said Iluka would consider pursuing joint
    ventures or alliances to bring onstream its high-grade Murray Basin
    "I think that most of the parties in the Murray Basin are
    talking to each other to find ways to efficiently develop the
    Iluka, which has spent more than $11 million exploring its
    massive Murray Basin tenements, recently upgraded its heavy
    minerals resources estimate in the region to 14 million tonnes,
    from 10.9 million tonnes.
    Titanium is an ultra-violet absorbing material used in
    protective coatings such as house and car paints and sunscreens.
    Zircon is used in a range of industrial applications although
    its largest use is in the ceramics industry.
    Mr Mackenzie said there were signs of a recovery in US titanium
    demand with a strong rebound in first quarter demand, particularly
    from Iluka's largest customer the US.
    "The full-year result should be in line with last year's result
    for the continuing operations," he said.
    "Because of the timing of product shipments, the first half
    profit is likely to be lower than last year, followed by a stronger
    second-half profit."
    Meanwhile, newly appoint managing director Mike Folwell said one
    of his first tasks would be overseeing a review of the company's
    operations with an eye to extract at least $25 million from its
    $550 million cost base.
    Mr Folwell, who previously held the top job at fertiliser group
    Pivot, said after just eight days in the job, he likes what he has
    seen at Iluka.
    "Iluka is a good company with a lot of opportunity in front of
    it to grow shareholder value, increase market position and its got
    a good balance sheet to use as a springboard to move forward," said
    Mr Folwell.
    At 1520 AEDT shares in Iluka were trading six cents weaker

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