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Heard on Hannan Street… Day Four of Diggers & Dealers 2021

Written by Genevieve Norton

August 5, 2021

Citadel-MAGNUS brings you a daily update from the 2021 Diggers & Dealers Conference in Kalgoorlie.

And that, friends is Diggers & Dealers done for another year. Sort of. Because there are a number of weary travellers who had their post Gala Dinner festivities rudely interrupted by a text message advising them that their flights back to Perth had been cancelled. Both Qantas and Virgin are affected, as they scramble to find airport staff and flight crews to cover those that have to isolate because they may have been exposed to the recent COVID-19 case who transited through Perth airport last week.

As best we can tell there may be around 500 delegates at a loose end in Kalgoorlie today. The flight chaos has also hit the FIFO work forces heading out of Perth to operations around the state.

That should not take the shine off last night’s Westrac Gala Dinner through….

Heard on Hannan extends congratulations to all the 2021 Diggers & Dealers Award Winners including:

  • Dealer of the Year: IGO Limited for its transformational Tianqi deal, and the divestment of Tropicana, which has established IGO as a $7.2b clean energy metals powerhouse
  • Digger of the Year: West African Resources – the company’s Sandbrado Gold Mine in Burkina Faso has quickly ramped up to producing 250,000 ounces of gold per year since it started production in March last year
  • Media Award: Peter Ker – the long-time Fairfax reporter was recognised for his forensic reporting skills
  • Emerging Company: Chalice Mining – growing its presence in the green metals business
  • GJ Stokes Award: Steve Coughlan – for his storied career which has been marked by the rise of Byrnecut, the private Aussie underground mining specialist with a global portfolio
  • Ray Finlayson Medal: Sydney Kamerman – for making her mark in the industry at a young age – and who looks to have a very promising future.

What a fantastic night was had by all! Wonderful food and drink were consumed (including a very tasty 2002 Penfolds 389…), old mates had a chance for one last hoorah and new networks were toasted after a solid three days of wheeling and dealing.

It’s hard to describe the entertainment for the evening, suffice to say that if you haven’t heard the story of Mick Colliss, vice-captain of Australia’s inaugural sudoku team, you need to get on google and check it out. It was a tale of the Australian spirit overcoming the odds to achieve the greatest level of mediocrity. He had the crowd in tears of pain and laughter at the same time.

Congratulations to the Diggers & Dealers team who once again put on a stellar forum in the midst of uncertainty; may we take this opportunity to shout out to our interstate colleagues and friends who once again were not able to participate in person due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. We can’t wait to see you next year!


ESG – every MD worth their unexercised options has environmental and social governance on their radar. What was once the province of the big end of town is part of the package for everyone in the mining caper, from global multinationals to junior explorers and mining contractors.

Carbon emissions are at the forefront, as communities, employees and a new generation of investors seek assurances that the companies they are associated with are doing something constructive to contribute to lower global emissions.

Centaurus Metals Managing Director Darren Gordon, spoke of the Company’s low carbon footprint of 4.69t CO2 /t Ni Eq, which is lower than 97% of global nickel production.  This is attributed to the Company tapping into a nearby high-voltage power line 40km from its flagship project, as Brazil’s national power grid runs on 80% renewables.


Liontown Resources Managing Director and CEO Tony Ottaviano gave a lively presentation reminding his industry peers that just because you have Government approvals don’t forget the other stakeholders, you have to bring everyone along for the journey otherwise that is where you will get stuck. People power is an important factor to consider in the current social climate.

Liontown has brought forward its climate targets and committed to being net zero by 2034. The Company has also brought forward the development of the Kathleen Valley lithium project to slip its production into a lithium supply gap that forecasters say will open up in 2024, but according to Ottaviano, is already here.

A shiver went through the conference after lunch as rumours spread about a positive COVID test from someone working in the mining industry. Whilst there were sighs of relief after the Premier’s mid-afternoon press conference, you have to feel for Fortescue’s Elizabeth Gaines, who hopped off her flight and into emergency response mode, as it was revealed the “weak positive” result had come from a worker at one of FMG’s mines.

No doubt the drama encouraged a few more to hang around for Gaines’ presentation at the end of the conference, and they were rewarded with a polished performance that underlined just how well Fortescue is traveling right now.

The FMG boss talked through the plan that will get the Company to Net Zero carbon by 2030. Already in testing are hydrogen and battery powered haul trucks, hydrogen powered drill rigs, along with design work for ammonia powered locomotives and ore carriers.

With FMG swimming in cash after record production and historically high iron ore prices, there will never be a better time for the Company to go green.


Last day of moving day at Diggers with gold and base metals the commodities of choice.

Standout gold performers included Gold Road Resources (up 2.26% to $1.36), Ramelius Resources (up 3.78% to $1.785), Tietto Minerals (up 2.86% to $0.36) and Apollo Consolidated (up 4.17% to $0.375).

Base metals focused Galena Mining and Legend Mining also experienced strong movements, finishing the day higher by 5.46% to $0.29 and 6.98% to $0.092 respectively.

We have mentioned these guys a number of times, but Chris Reed and Jeremy McManus have been on fire at the Neometals booth, with the stock moving higher by another 5.8% to $0.73 and 11.5% over the last two days.


Ramelius Resources Limited Managing Director Mark Zeptner closed out his presentation with a picture of the team at last year’s Gala Dinner as they won the 2020 Digger of the Year Award – “This is the last time I can use this picture, after tonight we will no longer be Digger of the Year…I gotta say I feel short changed as it has only been 9 months!”

That’s all we have for you from the 2021 Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum…

The team from Citadel-MAGNUS will be back next year and we’re already looking forward to enjoying the camaraderie and enthusiasm of the mining industry’s best event.

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