Economy Australia’s richest woman invests $300 million in British fertilizer

Australia’s richest woman invests $300 million in British fertilizer

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

Hancock Prospecting (Pty) Ltd, controlled by Australian billionaire iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart, on Tuesday said it was investing $300 million (245 million pounds) in British fertiliser business Sirius Minerals Plc SSX.L as it moves deeper into agriculture.

Hancock, which is also in a joint $278 million bid with China’s Shanghai CRED Real Estate for Australia’s biggest cattle empire, S. Kidman & Co, said Sirius could become one of the world’s leading producers of multi-nutrient fertiliser and could have a life of 100 years.

“This fits with my approach of investing in strategic areas for the long term, and I hope the product is of assistance to many Australian farmers,” Rinehart said in a statement.

Sirius Chief Executive Chris Fraser welcomed Hancock’s investment, saying it will bring mining and agricultural sector expertise to the operation.

The company is developing a polyhalite project in North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom.

Polyhalite is a naturally occurring mineral containing four of the six nutrients key to plant growth – potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium.

Rinehart is attempting to persuade the Kidman cattle empire that her offer remains superior after a group of four wealthy graziers, known as BBHO, made a A$386 million ($294 million) bid for Kidman.

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