Hancock Prospecting buys NSW cattle station to expand Wagyu production

Hancock chair Gina Rinehart said Warrabah would allow ‘increased scale’ and ‘greater operational flexibility’ for its 23,000 head Wagyu herd.

Hancock Prospecting has acquired a western New South Wales cattle station for an undisclosed sum.

The farm is located close to Sundown Valley, another property owned by Hancock in the area, and will be used to support growth of its 2GR Wagyu herd and brand.

Owned and chaired by mining magnate Gina Rinehart, the firm said the acquisition will provide extra capacity for backgrounding Wagyu beef cattle before they are finished and processed in Australia.

Hancock said its Wagyu herd currently stands at around 23,000 head of cattle and is forecast to expand.

In a statement, Rinehart said: “Warrabah Station is a high-quality property that will allow increased scale of operations on our existing NSW properties and will support further growth.

“New acquisitions such as this will allow greater operational flexibility and herd retention, which is very important when dealing with the challenging conditions bought on by the current drought.”

Hancock Prospecting declined to comment beyond its statement on Warrabah.

Roughly 12 months ago the firm also completed the acquisition of the 3,235 ha Glendon Park aggregation in NSW, to grow its Fullblood Wagyu cattle herd which also sells under the 2GR Wagyu brand. The purchase price for Glendon Park was believed to be A$14 million ($10.2 million; €8.9 million).

According to media reports, the firm was rumoured to have run the rule over Consolidated Pastoral Company’s portfolio, before the announcement last week that Terra Firma founder Guy Hands would lead a management buyout of the business.

Wagyu beef has proved an attractive sector for investors, with Hancock acquiring several properties while others, such as the Roc Partners-owned Stone Axe Pastoral Company, have also expanded production in recent months.

Stone Axe received a A$3.3 million investment in 2018 from the New South Wales government through the NSW GO Equity Fund, alongside a A$7.7 million investment from First State Super.