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Diggers and Dealers: Who dug a hole with their presentation at mining’s biggest talkfest?

Who won the awards on the final night of the Diggers and Dealers forum in Kalgoorlie and which lithium explorer … Read More
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  • Diggers and Dealers wraps up after three wild days in Kalgoorlie
  • Lithium companies steal the annual Diggers awards, including our homemade prize for ‘Most Cooked Presentation’
  • Catch up on all the Stockhead content from Hannan Street as we head off for (another) beer

Award for ‘Most Cooked Presentation’ goes to Delta Lithium’s (ASX:DLI) charismatic front man David Flanaghan.

No words can do it justice, so here:

This is a real slide.
So is this.

We enjoyed it immensely. The fusty (and undoubtedly dusty) investor cohort at Diggers did not.

The share price has since dropped ~13%.

Flanno’s style is, in a word, unique. Has he given reason for concern or inadvertently created a pocket of value? Drilling and approvals will tell the final story.

 

Packed crowds as Diggers wraps up

Our cursory inquiries have told us some 2650 delegates rocked up to the Goldfields Arts Centre over the past three days, placing what seemed to be a perceptible strain on the 5G resources of the town of 30,000-odd residents.

A sudden flood of interest in the lead-up to the talkfest led, we were told (probably in jest but who knows), to the termination of an additional 12 cattle (for food, obv).

The rest of the stats will come through in the days to come, but with the town bulging at the seams accommodation providers will already be licking their lips for next year’s edition.

Before we go, here are some awards which, we promise, were actually handed out to miners catching the eye of the industry over the past year.

 

DIGGER OF THE YEAR – PILBARA MINERALS (ASX:PLS)

The metrics behind Pilbara Minerals and the FY23 at its Pilgangoora mine are truly mind-boggling.

Sales volumes lifted 68%, but astonishing lithium prices (peaking at US$5668/dmt in the December quarter) were the big driver behind stellar revenues, up 238% to $4b.

Cash on hand rose to $3.3b, giving the $15 billion miner (once at threat of collapse due to low lithium prices) a massive warchest for M & A and project expansion.

It has wasted little time scaling up, planning a lift in output from a capacity last year of 580,000tpa to as much as 1Mtpa by late 2025 as well as moves into downstream and midstream refining of the electric vehicle material.

READ: You can’t build another Pilgangoora with a click of your fingers, and we could need 20 of them by 2040

 

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) share price today:

 

DEALER OF THE YEAR – ALLKEM (ASX:AKE)

This one raised the most eyebrows across the floor of the Diggers media room.

Raised from the $4 billion merger of Galaxy Resources and Orocobre in 2021, the award seemingly has been delivered for the yet to be completed merger between Allkem and Livent.

Announced in May, the $16 billion tie-up will see the combined entity eventually be the third largest producer by lithium carbonate equivalent volumes behind industry titans Albemarle and SQM.

This one’s yet to close, so we hope there’ll be no late embarrassments for the judging committee.

 

Allkem (ASX:AKE) share price today:

 

BEST EMERGING COMPANY – PATRIOT BATTERY METALS (ASX:PMT)

You guessed it, another lithium player, and a great one for our SEO.

Patriot Battery Metals has quickly delivered the world’s eighth largest hard rock lithium pegmatite resource, emerging as the clear standout amid a mad rush of Aussie companies into the James Bay lithium district in Quebec, Canada.

While the volume of explorers now suddenly planning to drill around the massive pegmatite district has become a meme, the 109Mt at 1.42% Li2O resource found at the Corvette Property by PMT has the lithium world standing up and taking notice.

The victim of a short seller report in recent weeks, the company chaired by former Pilbara Minerals supremo Ken Brinsden has revived interest in its dual-listed shares by releasing the long-awaited resource and announcing a 4.9% investment at a total of C$109m ($123m) from US lithium chemicals giant Albemarle.

 

Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) share price today:

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

There were a number of other awards announced at last night’s gala dinner, including former Barminco CEO Neil Warburton’s crowning as the recipient of the GJ Stokes Memorial Award.

Named for the late Diggers founder Geoffrey Stokes, the lifetime achievement prize was a nod to Warburton’s 40-year career in the mining industry which began as a graduate of the WA School of Mines and a stint as a mining engineer in Kambalda with the famed Aussie digger Western Mining Corporation.

He led Barminco’s expansion into West Africa and Egypt, where it became the largest underground mining contractor there and in the Australian market, and spent five years on the board of IGO (ASX:IGO) after its acquisition of Sirius Resources and the Nova nickel mine.

The media award went to the Australian Financial Review’s Brad Thompson, while Luca Danavaro Hanza won the Ray Finlayson Award for Leadership and Academic Excellence, awarded to an outstanding student at WASM’s 120-year-old Kalgoorlie campus.

 

Want to check out any of our coverage from a long week in the Goldfields? Read on below.

Diggers and Dealers: Who’s running as far as they can from investment bankers?

Diggers and Dealers: Four stories to follow as mining’s biggest talkfest gets into gear

Rare earths major Lynas has eye on ionic clays in the hunt for heavies

Diggers and Dealers: Gold is unloved but prices are poised to scale new heights if these miners are right

Diggers and Dealers: Are you sleeping on West Africa? This 5Moz gold explorer suggests you take a closer look

Diggers and Dealers: Battery metals miners say the West’s EV contest with China is Australia’s opportunity

‘Inundated with offers’: Conservative Boss calls imminent uranium bull market

The Hot List: Which small cap lithium stocks are enticing professional investors at Diggers and Dealers?

Global Lithium’s new DSO plans show how confident lithium miners are in the battery mineral’s decade of decadence

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