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As far as opening days go, day one at Diggers & Dealers in Kalgoorlie-Boulder delivered in golden spades. The sun was shining, the coffee machines withstood testing conditions and John Howard proved the most popular keynote speaker here since …. the last time an Australian Prime Minister completed a full term. Which, of course, was John Howard, a point made rather well by Diggers & Dealers’ outgoing chairman, and gold industry doyen, Nick Giorgetta. Giorgetta hands over to Jim Walker on Wednesday night. “How good is the gold price?” Howard, channelling the current PM, asked an estimated near-record crowd of 2400 miners,

Nothing sparkles as bright as a good gold story. And what better place to be than Kalgoorlie-Boulder when Aussie gold is trading above a jaw-dropping $2100 an ounce. Welcome to this year’s rendition of the Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum, a miners and investors convention founded on gold but regularly taken over by fad commodities. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up-do-date with all the Diggers & Dealers news A bumper crowd likely to exceed 2000 has descended on the Goldfields capital ahead of today’s opening day proceedings, when the key presenters list will include former PM John Howard, South32 chief development