Hancock Prospecting, owned by Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart, has divested its remaining shareholding in Catalyst Metals.

The shares have been acquired by the directors and senior management of Catalyst, alongside institutional investors.

Hancock offloaded the remainder of its nearly 11.7 million shares for A$8.7m ($5.6m), Mining.com.au reported.

This transaction marks Hancock’s exit as a substantial shareholder in the gold mining company.

Catalyst Metals is known for its significant gold assets across Australia. In Western Australia, it consolidated the Plutonic and Marymia gold projects into one project in 2023 through a merger with Superior Gold and the acquisition of Vango Mining.

The company also controls the Four Eagles Gold Project in the state of Victoria, located 70km north of the Bendigo Goldfield, which historically has yielded more than 22 million ounces (moz) of gold.

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Additionally, in January 2021, Catalyst secured full ownership of the Henty Gold Mine and its surrounding exploration tenements in north-western Tasmania.

The Henty operation, situated 23km from Queenstown, includes an underground mine and a processing plant with a nameplate capacity of 300,000 tonnes per annum using the conventional carbon in leach (CIL) method.

Since mining began in 1996, the Henty Gold Mine has produced 1.4moz of gold at an average grade of 8.9 grams per tonne (g/t).

Catalyst managing director and CEO James Champion de Crespigny commented: “The Board believes this change in ownership structure to a broader support base of institutional investors, leaves Catalyst well-positioned for the future development of underground mining at the Plutonic Gold Belt in Western Australia and the Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania.

“Hancock Prospecting has been an extraordinary supporter of Catalyst since 2015, when it first partnered in a joint venture at Catalyst’s Four Eagles Gold Project immediately north of the historic Bendigo Goldfields.

“Since then, Hancock has not only been a considerable contributor to Catalyst but also to the community in and around Bendigo. That support for the community and the Four Eagles Joint Venture remains.”