The anticipation is almost palpable as the stampede east looms large.

East from Perth to Kalgoorlie that is. The stampede of miners and investors that is. And some service providers looking to attract the miners and investors.

Yes – Diggers & Dealers returns for another year and some people are predicting there’ll be even more miners’ Landcruisers and investors’ Lexuses on Great Eastern Highway this year than there were 12 months ago (or is Lexi the more correct plural for a cavalcade of well-to-do vehicles?)

There’s no telling how many of the scheduled and probably overbooked flights might get their wheels off the tarmac so if I was attending I’d opt for whichever vehicle was more suited to my chosen occupation just to give myself a sporting chance of getting there on time.

Whatever the case, and despite recent interest rate rises, market falls and some potentially misguided direction on lithium demand causing a few ructions, sentiments remain strong.

We know that because we sent our resources guru JOSH LEWIS off to chat to Diggers & Dealers Chairman Jim Walker. Jim’s a man who knows one or two things about the state of the markets and the mining game. And he’s rather upbeat, suggesting we could see some attendance records tumble.

He also suggests the big focus this year will be around critical minerals – that’s why we cleverly used the word in the headline – like lithium and rare earths. READ MORE

Speaking of lithium, we spoke to some more people in the know. When it comes to what was until recently the mineral-du-jour – and is likely to regain that status when the world realises we still can’t meet the predicted demand despite a recent hiccup – we thought we go straight to a couple of lithium industry experts.

JESS GABITES did the deep dive with Winsome Resources big cheese Chris Evans and Global Lithium Resources head honcho Ron Mitchell to find out if a couple of Wall Street analysts were on the money when they claimed lithium was no longer on the money. It appears not if the world’s lithium producers and consumers know what they’re talking about. And they should – one manages supply and the other makes demands – and by all indications, the demands will outstrip supply for a long time to come. READ MORE

We’re intrigued by such market forces at The Yield and needed to know more on the lithium front. So we asked Chris Evans to tell us more. And while our reporters were ready, pens poised, we figured we needed it to come directly from the horse’s mouth. So we blew the dust of our camera equipment and let Chris explain what’s been going on in the world. WATCH VIDEO

Some people get uncomfortable when a camera is pointed at their face. Not Chris – he’s obviously done it before. He’s done a lot of networking events before too, but even he’s likely to admit they’re not always the most comfortable occasions.

Knowing some of our Diggers-attending readers might benefit from a few tips on overcoming the nerves at the inevitable networking functions, we compiled a list. And we’re not just talking about plying yourself full of free beer like you might before trying to pick up in a night club (not that we’re passing judgment on that being right or wrong). We have some practical and constructive ideas to help you make the most of a room full of strangers who might become good for business. READ MORE

And that about sums up this issue of The Yield. We encourage you to click the links, read the insights, share them, even have your friends, colleagues and families sign up via the link below if you’re so inclined.

Until next month, happy reading (and happy eventing if you’re Kalgoorlie bound)!