"Mark Creasy has played a part in some of WA's biggest resource finds, and in doing so has become Australia's most famous modern gold prospector," former Diggers owner Kate Stokes said. "After 55 years in the industry, he still remains one of the biggest holders of exploration ground in the state, and continues to lend his support to many junior exploration and mining companies."
The famously reclusive Creasy was overseas but delivered a short speech via video. He said he'd been inspired to become a prospector by reading Jack London novels as an "impressionable adolescent".
"Don't overdo it - keep the livers reasonably intact and I look forward to being at Diggers & Dealers sometime in the future," Creasy said.
Two weeks after winning MiningNews.net's Deal and/or Merger of the Year award, Northern Star Resources followed it up by winning the Dealer Award for the acquisition of the Pogo mine in Alaska. Northern Star joins Hancock Prospecting as the only other company to win the Dealer Award twice. "We are absolutely delighted with our acquisition in Alaska and are delighted with this award," Northern Star executive chairman Bill Beament said.
The Digger Award went to Roy Hill for its successful ramp-up to 55 million tonnes per annum of iron ore. Roy Hill director, professor Ian Plimer, accepted the award.
MiningNews' newly crowned Explorer of the Year Bellevue Gold was named the Best Emerging Company. Managing director Steve Parsons said the company's Bellevue gold project was proof discoveries could still be made in the Goldfields.
MiningNews columnist Barry FitzGerald won the Media Award.
"His articles on the mining industry are of the highest calibre, well-researched and insightful," Diggers chair Nick Giorgetta said.
FitzGerald won the inaugural Media Award in 2003 when he was at The Age and becomes the first journalist to win the award twice. He said he was donating the prize - an ounce of gold from the Perth Mint - to the local Kalgoorlie chapter of Women in Mining.
Mining engineering student Samuel La Macchia was awarded the Ray Finlayson Medal for Leadership and Academic Excellence.
Incoming Diggers chairman Jim Walker paid tribute to outgoing chair Giorgetta with a presentation and gift. After 10pm, an excited Giorgetta jumped back onstage well after the formalities had finished to tell the crowd the gold price had pushed through US$1,500 an ounce.