Less calories than one made of chicken - this gold nugget is said to be worth $50,000.

Less calories than one made of chicken - this gold nugget is said to be worth $50,000.

In Kalgoorlie-Boulder the word "Phoenix" doesn't just symbolise overcoming adversity – she's also one of the many scantily dressed attractions of the annual Diggers and Dealers mining conference.  

For the movers and shakers of the mining world the annual three-day, three-night knees up, now in its 20th year, is a time to network hard and play even harder.

Skimpy barmaids, cocktail soirees and the burgeoning silver trade will be the hot topics for the 2,300 miners, explorers and financiers who have flocked to the outback from all corners of the globe.  

Networking 101 Kalgoorlie style.

Networking 101 Kalgoorlie style.

The annual event is a highlight on the calendar for enterprising locals with some treating the conference as a chance to meet "Mr Right" while others choose to skip town in order to pocket more than $6,000 just by renting out their family home to the white collar visitors.

The after dark festivities kicked off at the Palace Hotel on Sunday night with Sandfire Resources, owners of the newly operational DeGrasso copper mine, hosting a three-course dinner washed down by Margaret River wines and boutique beers.

Local "Kal-ebrity" and owner of the Palace Hotel Ashok Parekh arrived at the corporate dinner dressed in an unassuming white polo shirt and loose jeans with $50,000 in his back pocket – a gold nugget he bought "from an old prospector".

Visitors are welcomed with open arms in Kalgoorlie. Photo: Jenna Clarke Click for more photos

Impressions from the 2012 Diggers&Dealers mining conference

Visitors are welcomed with open arms in Kalgoorlie. Photo: Jenna Clarke

Mr Parekh who is also the chairman of gold and silver exploration group MacPhersons Resources told WAtoday.com.au that in the mining world silver is the new black – with sales on the increase across the US and Canada.

He recently returned from New York where he met former US President George Bush who is "a big fan of silver".

Tonight Atlas Iron will host a dinner for a select group of delegates at the historic Hannans Club and on Tuesday evening anyone who's anyone in the world of high-vis and hard hats will be at an exclusive cocktail party hosted by Silver Lake Resources at a private enclave inside the Palace Hotel.

The 2300 'diggers' and 'dealers' will find entertainment on every Kalgoorlie corner for the three-day conference.

The 2,300 'diggers' and 'dealers' will find entertainment on every Kalgoorlie corner for the three-day conference.

Digger and dealers