Rinehart's $500 million cattle export deal to China

AUSTRALIAN billionaire Gina Rinehart has inked an agreement with China to export live cattle to the economic powerhouse in a deal that could be valued at more than $500 million if the maximum export capacity is hit.

Hancock Prospecting has revealed that it has signed a strategic co-operation agreement with Zhejiang Aozhou Cattle Industry, a company formed to develop a cattle facility on Jintang Island, China, The Australian reports.

The newly created Chinese entity has been formed by Sino-Australia Modern Industry Park, New Hope Group, Zhejiang Seaport Group and Harvest Fund.

"Australia needs to export currently two thirds of its cattle, so overseas markets must continue to be developed if we are to grow our cattle industry," Mrs Rinehart, executive chairman of Hancock, said.

The agreement will see Hancock and Aozhou establish a joint venture in Australia to purchase, feed and export suitable cattle to the Chinese facility. Hancock will control 66.7 per cent of the Australian joint venture, with the new Chinese entity owning the rest.

Aozhou, which Hancock can invest in under the agreement, will develop and operate the Chinese facility and sell and distribute the beef products to consumers in the Yangtze Delta region. The Jintang Island facility will have a capacity of 150,000 head per annum, with the potential to expand that capacity to up to 300,000.

Read more at The Australian.