Kidman Resources, Kirkland Lake Gold and Metro Mining bag 2018 Diggers & Dealers awards

Diggers Dealers winners awards ASX Kidman Resources KDR Metro Mining MMI Kirkland Lake Gold KLA
Metro Mining took out this year's Diggers & Dealers emerging company award.

Kidman Resources, Kirkland Lake Gold and Metro Mining each bagged a prestigious Diggers & Dealers award this year, with the trio finishing the three-day extravaganza basking in the lime light.

The three-day event culminated in the final dinner and awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Metro Mining’s (ASX: MMI) managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis walked away with the highly sought after Emerging Company Award in the small cap explorer space.

The company received the award due to its potential to advance its recently commissioned Bauxite Hills operation and surrounding tenements in Queensland into a “substantial project”.

In the major miner arena, Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX: KLA) received the Digger Award for its achievements during 2017.

During 2017, Kirkland Lake boosted production at its Victorian-based Fosterville mine by 70%, while treating 22% less ore.

The company also posted a 210% increase to the project’s reserves which rose to 1.03 million ounces.

As a result of the enhanced production, ongoing exploration and cost reductions, Kirkland Lake’s market cap has risen from C$1.5 billion in 2016 to its current value of more than C$6 billion.

Kirkland Lake’s president and chief executive officer Tony Makuch was present to accept the award on behalf of the company.

The Dealer Award this year was presented to Kidman Resources (ASX: KDR) for its strategic approach in developing its lithium assets and its joint venture with Chilean lithium major SQM.

In addition to its joint venture with a lithium heavy weight, Kidman also locked-in an offtake agreement with renowned electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

Taking out the GJ Stokes Memorial Award was Ausdrill’s (ASX: ASL) founder Ron Sayers.

Mr Sayers built a “unique culture” within Ausdrill that has resulted in a large part of the company’s workforce being classified as long-term staff.

The longevity has been maintained by Mr Sayers actively fostering an “old school” culture within the company where care for employees is perceived as important as their commitment to the company.

Meanwhile, Victoria Arrowsmith was the recipient of the Ray Finlayson Medal for Leadership and Academic Excellence.

Ms Arrowsmith was a student at the WA School of Mines’ Kalgoorlie campus and graduated with Honours in Metallurgical Engineering and is now working with Novo Resources (ASX: NVO).

The positive sentiment at this year’s Diggers & Dealers was easy to see, with the event attracting 200 more people than last year to put attendee numbers at about 2,300.

As usual, the majority of delegates and exhibitors were from WA, with the eastern stages accounting for 25% of attendees and the remainder travelling to the remote WA destination from other countries around the world.

Lorna has more than 10 years' experience as a finance journalist and editor. She has written for numerous industry publications reporting on various sectors, including: resources, energy, construction, biotech, pharma, science and technology, agriculture, and chemicals. Specialising in resources, Lorna has also covered a myriad of small and large cap ASX and dual-listed stocks.