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Diggers & Dealers 2018: Kirkland Lake caps off glistening year with Digger Award

Kirkland Lake Gold’s rapid production increase across its assets in Australia and Canada has been recognised, with the Tony Makuch-led gold play bestowed the Digger Award at this year’s Diggers and Dealers mining forum.

Kirkland Lake was presented the title at tonight’s gala dinner to officially close the three-day Kalgoorlie-Boulder conference.

The mid-tier producer’s record-breaking 2017 delivered 596,405 ounces, marking a 90 per cent increase from 2016 and an improved guidance of 580,000oz to 595,000oz.

The rapid ascent came after underground exploration at its flagship Bendigo-based Fosterville gold mine in Victoria struck significant high-grade zones.

Emerging lithium play Kidman Resources snared the Dealer Award for a “strategic approach to developing its assets”, following May’s announcement that its touted lithium refinery would be commissioned in Kwinana by 2021.

Martin Donohue’s battery mineral developer also made significant advancements at its Mt Holland project, a 50-50 joint venture with Chilean lithium giant SQM, about 100km from Southern Cross, which will feed the proposed plant.

The G.J. Stokes Memorial Award was awarded to prominent Goldfields mining identity Ron Sayers for his work to transform the Kalgoorlie-Boulder founded Ausdrill into a global mining services provider.

The former Ausdrill boss, who retired from his managing director post earlier this year after launching the drilling company in 1987, was lauded for his leadership in establishing a successful workplace culture.

Leading The West Australian resources reporter Stuart McKinnon claimed the media award, a gong previously presented to WestBusiness journalists John Phaceas, Peter Klinger and Nick Evans.

WA School of Mines student Victoria Arrowsmith was presented the Ray Finlayson medal for leadership and academic excellence, while Metro Mining won the emerging company.

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