Gina Rinehart-controlled Hancock Prospecting is now Catalyst Metal’s (ASX:CYL) largest shareholder following a $7.875m placement at $2.25 per share.

Catalyst controls a stretch of ground on the so-called Whitelaw Gold Belt in Victoria, a structure which the explorer believes is respo0nsible for the formation of the Bendigo gold deposits (historically ~22 million ounces of gold produced at a grade of 15g/t).

Catalyst says this is one of the great gold belts of the world – “which has never really been explored before”.

The explorer’s relationship with Hancock subsidiary Gold Exploration Victoria (GEV) stretches back to 2015, when GEV agreed to sole fund up to $4.2m in exploration expenditure on the Four Eagles project at Whitelaw.

Four Eagles is a stone’s throw (figuratively speaking) from Kirkland Lake’s (ASX:KLA) world-class Fosterville operation.

Not only is it good to have a billionaire in your corner, after this latest placement Catalyst will now have cash at bank in excess of $20m heading into 2020.

GEV will also become Catalyst’s largest shareholder at 14.8 per cent. At 15 per cent, GEV will have the right to nominate a rep to the Catalyst board.

“This additional investment by GEV into our company further cements the strong working relationship that has been built between both companies technically and corporately over the past five years, via a number of joint ventures over the Whitelaw Gold Belt north of Bendigo in Victoria,” Catalyst chairman Stephen Boston says.

“Catalyst finds itself in a very strong financial position as it embarks upon its biggest exploration program in 2020.”

In March, GEV paid ~$13m — at a heavily discounted $1.50 per share — for an initial 11 per cent of the company.

This time, at -9.6 per cent to the 20-day VWAP, the discount wasn’t so steep.

That’s probably because Catalyst is having one hell of a year. The explorer is up +50 per cent YTD on some massive high-grade discoveries in Victoria.


The gold hits just keep coming

In late April, Catalyst announced its best ever gold assay of 1,675g/t gold at Boyd’s Dam, part of the Four Eagles project.

In September, the explorer was still throwing up fantastic widths and grades from Four Eagles, extending high-grade gold by about 200m to the south end of Boyd’s Dam with hits like 11m at 37.2g/t.

Could it be the next Fosterville? Catalyst thinks so.

A few days ago the company formed another JV with $1.8 billion miner St Barbara (ASX:SBM) to explore the Drummartin gold project, also in Victoria.

Drummartin is east of Four Eagles and about 60km north of the Fosterville gold mine.

St Barbara will spend $3.5m within four years to earn a 50 per cent interest in the project and will manage the exploration programs while Catalyst remains the operator.


In other ASX gold news today:

Busy explorer Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) uncovers thick, high grade gold at Mainland, part of the explorer’s flagship Cue project in WA. Highlights include 6m grading 14.2g/t gold, inside a larger 12m intersection grading 8.1g/t — ~100m from surface. Anything above 5g/t is generally considered high grade.

“This is a great early result at Mainland and supports the company’s view that there are significant gold discoveries still to be made in the Murchison,” managing director Rob Waugh says. Further follow-up drilling at Mainland is currently being planned for Q1 2020.

READ MORE about Musgrave:

Musgrave buddies up with Evolution Mining in $18m joint venture

Musgrave is hunting gold under a salt lake


Goldfields-based First AU (ASX:FAU) scores a $100,000 government grant to test whether gold mineralisation at the 69,000oz Gimlet deposit continues at depth. The hole, slated for 2020, has a target vertical depth of 450m to 500m from surface. “A successful gold intersection in this planned diamond drill hole would provide further evidence that the TealGimlet mineralised corridor has the potential to be a major gold camp,” the company says.

READ MORE: A $4m market cap + 69,000oz resource in WA + huge growth potential with new drilling program = …