The future of the world’s most “recession-proof” metal – and that of Australia’s current band of gold miners and explorers – will come under the spotlight during two days of intense industry debate at the 2009 Paydirt Gold Conference in Perth next week. The annual event, at the city’s Sheraton Hotel, is to be opened by Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Hon. Norman Moore.The Conference comes at a time when gold is attracting increasing interest for its steady showing in the face of the uncertain global financial markets. The yellow metal reached a high of $993/oz in February, and has remained above $900 for most of the past two months. The Paydirt Conference, on April 1st and 2nd, will include presentations by some of Australia’s leading gold explorers, miners and geologists, as well as corporate financiers, market analysts, and minerals industry regulators from Victoria, South Australia and WA.