The chairman of Caravel Minerals has publicly apologised to a group of rebel shareholders who won seats on the board earlier this month – and then he walked away from the troubled junior explorer.

In an announcement to the ASX this morning, chairman Peter Alexander said he wishes to “unreservedly apologise” to Alasdair Cooke and the other requisitioning shareholders for the accusations against them and the conduct of the board in recent months.

“The company made a number of accusations about the motives, actions and associations of the aforementioned shareholders,” Mr Alexander said.

Caravel also launched legal action against Mr Cooke and two associated companies.

The board has now dropped the legal action after the Australian government-run Takeovers Panel declined to call a hearing over allegations the parties were associated and had breached the 20 per cent takeover rule.

The rule means that a person is limited to a maximum 20 per cent shareholding in an ASX-listed company and cannot move beyond that unless they launch a formal takeover offer.

“Mr Alexander and the Caravel board retract all accusations and claims of wrongdoing in relation to Alasdair Cooke, Mitchell River Group and the requisitioning shareholders,” the statement said.

In a separate same day announcement to the market, investors were told Mr Alexander, chief Marcel Hilmer and non-executive directors Daniel Ryan and James Harris had all quit.

Immediately after Mr Cooke and Alexander Sundich took their seats on the board of the junior gold and copper explorer in early May they called a general meeting to seek to have the remaining board members evicted.

Stockhead is seeking comment from Caravel.