The Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie is anticipating its largest turnout of delegates since 2013 when this year’s event is launched on Monday.
An improvement in market conditions over the past year looks to have helped boost interest in the 2017 forum, with almost 2100 people expected to attend the August 7-9 event. Numbers at Diggers haven’t exceeded 2000 since 2012 and 2013.
Forum chairman Nick Giorgetta said the number of ‘professions’ at Diggers would be down a little on historical demographics, but the services companies planning to attend would compensate for this.
“This makes sense as there is a low level of corporate activity and not a huge amount on the radar so the professionals are all attending but some of the larger ones are bringing a few less,” Giorgetta said.
“The service companies are seeing more activity from the producers, seeing future work opportunities from these and emerging producers etc so it makes sense that they are a little greater in numbers.
“Apart from that the mix is exactly as we expect. The best comparison year is 2013 and 2012 which is the last years we had over 2000.”
Diggers will again feature a diverse selection of mining companies delivering presentations.
As you would expect in Kalgoorlie, gold mining figures prominently in the programme. South African miners Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti head the international presence in the gold space.
Leading local gold producers like Evolution Mining, St Barbara and Northern Star Resources will update delegates on their progress, while developers Dacian Gold and Gold Road Resources will provide an insight into their prospects in the Goldfields region.
The region’s other major mineral, nickel, will be discussed by local operators – BHP, Western Areas and Independence Group.
Iron ore will be represented by top WA-based producers Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill, while the emerging lithium industry will be covered by Galaxy Resources, Pilbara Minerals and Neometals.
Giorgetta said the increase in production across the industry in recent years had caused the spike in interest from services companies.
“Given the emergence of more producers in recent years and more substance means that the interest in service companies in the last few years is higher than when there was a greater focus on exploration and feasibility studies that don’t throw off substantial industrial work,” Giorgetta explained.
“Summary, we are in good shape and the event remains as solid as ever.”
Service providers including Ausdrill, Macmahon Holdings, PYBAR, TopDrill and Swick Mining Services will be exhibiting.