Rinehart buys into oil

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has used Hancock Prospecting to make a $6.3 million investment in oil and gas minor Lakes Oil.

In a statement yesterday Lakes said the investment would see Hancock take a 18.6 per cent interest in the company, and as part of the deal Rinehart ally Ian Plimer would be welcomed to the board.

A second Hancock representative is also expected to be named as non-executive director, although details on the appointment are yet to be announced.

Lakes is targeting tight gas in Victoria's Gippsland basin, and is also investigating the potential for unconventional oil and gas around the state.

While the company continues to expand on its assets in VIC, the State Government last year announced a moratorium on fracking for unconventional gas reserves.

The ban had little impact on development of the fledgling VIC sector, but represented growing concern by conservationists and farmers about the potential impacts of the industry.

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