Messages were mixed at the Diggers and Dealers 25th annual conference in Australia. There was ebullience at the revival of mineral mining, mixed with words of caution for the future.
The milestone of 25 years of Diggers and Dealers was acknowledged by The Perth Mint exhibiting at the venue in Kalgooorlie with a massive gold coin 80cm wide and valued at A$60 million. This reflected a much more confident and bullish attitude in the gold mining and marketing industries since the last conference in 2015.
At that time, gold was stuck in a rut with very little upward movement in price. Since then gold has made a remarkable recovery due to a number of factors, including the uncertainty of international sharemarkets and the unexpected result of the Brexit.
The improved position of the exploration and mining industries was noted by the chairman of the Diggers and Dealers mining forum, Nick Giorgetta, in his address to the 2000 delegates. He told them the more optimistic tone of the minerals industries is driven by gold and to a certain extent, lithium.
However, CEO of Evolution Mining, Jake Klein, at the same conference warned that the current lift in gold prices must be seen in the context of the wider economy. Klein is a highly respected figure in the international gold industry. He has increased Evolution’s market capitalisation from A$550 million in 2014 (when the company produced annually 430,000 ounces of gold) to A$4 billion in the current financial year with a production which should reach 860,000 ounces of gold.
“We are determined not to fall into the trap of believing the gold price will rise forever,” he said, “but are building a business that recognises the cyclicality of the commodity we produce.” By Peter Owens.
Credit: ABC News: Nathan Morris