It didn’t rain – much – on the Diggers parade yesterday though there is a noticeable lack of Dealers news being discussed in and around the marquee next to Kalgoorlie’s Goldfields Arts Centre.
Welcome to Day 1 of the 2022 Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum, which delivered as expected – and possibly a bit more.
Last week’s rebound in metals prices was enough to ensure a buoyant mood on the opening day of Australia’s premier mining conference.
DON’T MISS TODAY
- Stuart Tonkin, Northern Star Resources – 2.50pm
- Alex Passmore, Rox Resources – 4.10pm
- Duncan Gibbs, Gold Road Resources – 5.05pm
Seemingly forgotten was the selldown across equity markets, sparked by weak commodity prices and global economic concerns, that had belted the mining sector over the past few months.
We are up and about again. And it’s much more fun being upbeat at Diggers than depressed like we were 15 years ago when everything was trending south.
Conversations yesterday were flowing and enthusiasm and energy were everywhere, helped by the fact the keynote speaker Dambisa Moyo, a New York-based economist who was beaming in via the world wide web, confirmed to a breathless audience that she was a gold bull.
“I’ve always been a gold bull,” Dr Moyo said, to the thumbs-up from delegates, before adding that she expected the precious metal’s price to rally on the back of global inflationary pressures.
There will be no shortage of gold miners, having seen their profit margins eroded by escalating costs and a stagnant gold price, who hope Moyo’s prophecy rings true.
- Australian Vanadium and Paladin Energy enter the clean energy mix
- Australia’s next lithium miner takes stage at Diggers
- Brace for a change of tone on the metal podium
One of the themes so far has been the focus on costs and value over volume.
Westgold Resources’ (ASX: WGX) new chief Wayne Bramwell made clear his mission for the Murchison operations was to “deliver on the promise” and ensure “consistency in production … and be predictable”.
As De Grey Mining boss Glenn Jardine discussed in his presentation about the prospects for the massive Mallina gold project in the Pilbara, which he hopes to start constructing late next year, “we are not trying to grab ounces for the sake of ounces, they have to be profitable”.
De Grey (ASX: DEG) shareholders will agree, none more so than 14.4 per cent investor Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR).
Gold Road boss Duncan Gibbs, whose Booth 70 just happens to keep a diagonal oversight of De Grey’s Booth 21, will close out presentation proceedings today before we kick into The Kal Tire Mining Traditional Bash.
With national and international visitors back in the Diggers marquee for the first time in three years, there was no shortage of conversations.
And while there is no doubt that the seeds of some deals are being planted, the lack of news on Day 1 was noticeable.
Unlike last year, when Chalice Mining’s (ASX: CHN) Julimar exploration success had generated a buzz around the marquee, delegates are scratching their heads to think of the stand-out exploration success of 2022.
There was no shortage of directors, eh, Diggers drill hole specials announced yesterday but none that moved the dial.
As an aside, there was also no shortage of West Coast Eagles premiership players gracing and grazing at Diggers yesterday, covering the 1992, 1994, 2006 and 2018 cup wins – Worsfold, Judd and McGovern.
But back to the digging and dealing game, with the exception of Genesis Minerals’ (ASX: GMD) live bid for Dacian Gold – and the unofficial live pursuit of St Barbara – there is little corporate activity on the radar.
If only Andrew Forrest had timed his crack at Regis Resources (ASX: RRL) for now rather than a month ago.
Finally, a few questions remain unanswered:
- Who out of the four big guns representing Tribeca Investment Partners at Diggers is tasked with driving the “party bus” back to Sydney?
- Why exactly is Germany the biggest market for The Perth Mint’s high-quality, specially minted gold coins?
- Does anyone know where the metal used to make the Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold medals came from?
Stay tuned for more from Day 2.