WA mining forum nudges record numbers
One of Australia's biggest mining conferences, which is about to get under way, has attracted its second-largest throng of delegates.
The organisers of Diggers and Dealers say 2,300 mining executives, investors, analysts and media from across the world are registered to attend the event this week, now in its 27th year, in the historic WA outback town of Kalgoorlie.
It's the highest head count since 2012 when there were 2,400 attendees.
As usual, hotels and motels are packed to the rafters, and savvy residents have upped sticks for the three-day talk-fest and rented out their homes for thousands of dollars.
As conference-goers wearing their distinctive lanyards converge on the wide, gold rush-era streets, conference caterers and local watering holes are prepared, having bolstered their staff numbers with fly-in, fly-out workers.
The keynote address on Monday will be delivered by Jose Manuel Barroso, the former prime minister of Portugal and ex-president of the European Commission who is currently chairman of Goldman Sachs International.
Gold companies feature heavily in the line-up but battery minerals and metals stocks are expected to gain the most attention.
Deloitte WA assurance and advisory partner Dave Andrews says the share prices of companies involved in rare earths and battery metals, particularly nickel, cobalt and copper, have gained momentum in 2017-18 amid excitement about battery storage demand, the expanding electric vehicle market, renewables, and the insatiable appetite for consumer technology.
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