Australian mining tycoon Rinehart makes a $3.2m bet on gold
Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart, queen of the global iron-ore trade, is looking to replicate her success in the seaborne business by making a $3.22 million (A$4.2m) bet on gold.
Rinehart, Down Under’s richest woman, has agreed to fund exploration at the Four Eagles gold project, a joint venture between Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) and Providence Gold and Minerals, to earn a 50% interest in the asset, located 70km north of Bendigo in central Victoria.
Gold Exploration Victoria, a subsidiary of Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, will first spend $2.1 million for a 25% stake in the project, which will then be repeated to reach the 50% target.
“This is an important milestone for the company and provides the opportunity for extensive drilling on the large Four Eagles gold footprint in the next two years without any change in Catalyst’s project equity or dilution to Catalyst shareholders,” the firm’s technical director, Bruce Kay, said in a statement.
The Four Eagles project, discovered in 2010, lies beneath a fairly shallow blanket of sand and clay, in an area where miners extracted 22 million ounces of gold in the 1800s.
*Note: The original version of this article referred to Rinehart as a mining "heiress." Hancock Prospecting did not like the term and has asked to change it based on the following argument:
"The article title described Mrs Gina Rinehart as an “heiress”. This is wholly incorrect. Mrs Rinehart is not an heiress. How can anyone be an heiress if the relative left a bankrupt estate, as was the position with Mr Hancock’s estate? When Mrs Rinehart assumed the chairmanship of Hancock Prospecting upon the death of her father in 1992, the company was in a parlous financial state with significant debts and other liabilities together with significant legal claims against it, with assets mortgaged or under legal threat, and an associated entity, the Hancock Family Memorial Foundation, insolvent. Over the next 20 years Mrs Rinehart built the company group into Australia’s largest and most successful private company group through hard work, great effort, long hours and dedication, with the assistance of only a very small executive team."