St Barbara, Catalyst JV to bring jobs to Bendigo

Catalyst Metals-subsidiary Kite Operations has entered into an earn-in and joint venture agreement (EIJVA) in Victoria with gold producer St Barbara.

Through the venture, St Barbara will manage exploration projects and Kite will be the operator of the Drummartin project in Victoria’s Greater Bendigo area.

The Drummartin project is an early stage greenfields exploration area about 60 kilometres north of the Fosterville gold mine.

The EIJVA will bring job prospects to the Bendigo community as it a condition of the EIJVA that operations be primarily managed from Bendigo and use local labour whenever it is available.

The project is relatively unexplored, but Catalyst has carried out limited air core drilling in the western portion of the project and a ground gravity survey covering a third of the eastern side of the site.

Under the EIJVA, St Barbara must spend $3.5 million within four years with a minimum of $1 million within the first two years on the Drummartin project to earn 50 per cent interest.

St Barbara is also a substantial shareholder of Catalyst, meaning the EIJVA is conditional on Catalyst receiving its shareholders approval of the agreement within 90 days of the signing date.

As long as St Barbara and Kite hold a 50 per cent participating interest each, St Barbara will have the right to appoint the Drummartin project manager, while Kite will remain responsible for on-ground local operations.

Catalyst technical director Bruce Kay said he is pleased to now have St Barbara as not only its major shareholder but as a joint venture partner as well, to bring new technical skills to Catalyst’s exploration efforts.

“The joint venture with St Barbara is a continuation of the Catalyst strategy over the last six years of sharing exploration risk and providing the best on shareholder funds,” Kay said.

There will be a shareholders meeting soon to consider the EIJVA, along with an independent expert’s report, which Catalyst will prepare and dispatch to shareholders shortly.

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