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

Written by Genevieve Norton

August 4, 2021

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


Major to watch


They’ve left the big gun to last! Iron ore is on fire this year, as is the FMG share price – so we can assume everyone will be very interested to hear the outlook for both FMG and Iron Ore.

FMG has also been making a big move towards renewable energy, with a major focus on becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Once again Elizabeth Gaines will be among a select few women to present at the Conference and we can expect to hear about Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), and get an update on strategy and the Company’s pathway to decarbonisation.

Will we also hear about the mining industry’s problem with respect for women? With the echoes of Juukan Gorge still reverberating around the industry, and a new Aboriginal Heritage Act on the horizon in WA, there is a lot to discuss beyond cash flowing in from the red rocks of the Pilbara.

Junior to watch:

Liontown Resources

Tim Goyder was the toast of Diggers & Dealers last year with the performances of Liontown and Chalice. Lithium is once again a fan favourite of the equity market and the Liontown share price has gone from strength to strength this year.

The Company recently loaded the bank account through a $52m capital raising to develop the exciting WA-based Kathleen Valley Lithium-Tantalum Project.

MD and CEO Tony Ottaviano will be presenting at 11.35am; make sure you listen in and see how the Company is progressing towards its objective of first tonnes to market in mid-2024.

After hours:

After hours is a fluid concept at Diggers & Dealers, in more ways than one. We went for a quick stroll to downtown Kalgoorlie at lunchtime yesterday and it appeared that many delegates were suffering from Diggers overload, deciding instead to pop into Paddys or Hoovers for lunch.

Back at Diggers, the cold beers were flowing from 3pm at Estrella Resources, where they showcased a swag of nickel cores from their Carr Boyd Project, along with an impressive wall sized display.

At 5.30pm or thereabouts the KAL Tyre traditional Bash kicked off in the marquee. From what we could see, most people had recovered from whatever ailed them this morning and the networking was in full swing.

WA School of Mines Alumni President Christian Price and life membership recipient and good ol’ Menzies boy Raleigh Finlayson.

The WA Women in Mining and Resources combine with the WA School of Mines Alumni each year to put on an industry sundowner that is welcoming to everybody. It’s always a quality event, and with COVID restrictions limiting numbers, tickets were a hot item.

This year’s event was headlined by a powerful call to arms for the industry to do more about making mining a welcoming place for women, from Cube Consulting Managing Director Rebecca Prain. As Rebecca said: “We can do better – we just need the will.”

The second highlight was the award of Life Membership to the Goldfields’ own Raleigh Finlayson, in recognition of his remarkable journey from Menzies to Executive Director of Northern Star Resources, and his contribution to WASM.

Time to frock up tonight for the WesTrac Gala Dinner, when the marquee that has been filled with company booths all week is transformed into a swanky dinner venue for about 2000 hungry diggers and dealers. The food is always good, but we also look forward to a first-class wine list…and of course the crowning of winners of this year’s Diggers & Dealers award winners.


Pilbara Minerals CEO Ken Brinsden has so far been one of the only industry heavyweights to speak on the sexual misconduct and rape allegations facing the mining industry.

“If you have a dinosaur, who hasn’t got with the program, don’t just immediately send him down the road, because somebody else is going to pick up that same problem,” he delivered in a refreshingly plain-speaking address. He finished by saying: “So I encourage you all – work harder on the culture …in and around our workforce, in and around our work sites, in and around our camps.” Great to see this issue being addressed!

Well, it wouldn’t be an event in 2021 without a mention of COVID-19!  Roy Hill’s new CEO Gerhard Veldsman yesterday morning spoke of the impact COVID-19 is having in WA, even without any community transmission or lockdowns, stressing that labour shortages stemming from the hard border and red tape are heavily impacting the industry. He cautioned the mining industry will not be able to deliver on its pipeline of projects without improving mobility, and urged the Government to set target dates for its four-step recovery plan from the pandemic.



Azure Minerals MD, Tony Rivera

Mincor Resources Managing Director David Southam had to have one of the best lines of the day as he told a packed crowd: Mincor to Musk, Kambalda to Kia, Mincor to Mercedes and if you are an investment banker…. Mincor to Maserati!”

He was drawing a line between contributing to the supply chain for BHP, which has signed a nickel supply agreement with Tesla, and how this was just the beginning with other car manufacturers looking for the base metal to feed the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles.

Azure Minerals Managing Director Tony Rovira presented the Azure story to a packed crowd in the afternoon. Azure is rapidly progressing its Andover nickel-copper-cobalt discovery the Company has large landholdings in two gold exploration districts; Mallina in the Pilbara and Kookynie in the Eastern Goldfields.


There was more red than green across the screen for day two of Diggers, however a few shining lights finished the day in positive territory.

Our spotlight on Chalice Mining as a major to watch yesterday obviously had a big impact on the Company’s share price, finishing the day 6.84% higher to $7.65.

Delegates must have liked what they heard from Bardoc Gold and Azure Minerals, with the gold explorer closing 6.06% higher to $0.07 and the nickel-copper developer closing 2% higher (on good volume) to $0.255.

Every time you walk past the Neometals booth there is always someone talking to Chris Reed and Jeremy McManus and they are doing an excellent job promoting the Company, with the share price closing 7% higher to $0.69.


“It is good to have two Kiwis opening the batting for the session, following two under armed, slow pace Australian bowlers.” – David Southam, Managing Director of Mincor on the line-up of presenters for the morning session which included Steve Parson (Bellevue Gold), Ken Brinsden (Pilbara Minerals) and Stuart Tonkin (Northern Star Resources).

“You’re looking worse and worse every time I see you today.” One delegate was told, several times, having stumbled home at around 3:30am Tuesday morning after a solid night of networking.

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