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Australia's richest woman invests US$300m in British fertiliser

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Hancock Prospecting, controlled by Australian billionaire iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart, on Tuesday said it was investing US$300 million in British fertiliser business Sirius Minerals as it moves deeper into agriculture.

[SYDNEY] Hancock Prospecting, controlled by Australian billionaire iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart, on Tuesday said it was investing US$300 million in British fertiliser business Sirius Minerals as it moves deeper into agriculture.

Hancock, which is also in a joint US$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," Ms 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.

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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.

Ms 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 (S$409.5 million) bid for Kidman.

REUTERS

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