Hope Dairies, indirectly controlled by Australian iron ore billionaire Gina Rinehart, is planning to invest A$500 million (US$435 million) in the Chinese infant formula market, Bloomberg reported, citing a co-investor in a new project which will require 5,000 hectares of farmland in Queensland state and that aims to begin production in 2016. The move comes as Australian mining firms have begun expanding into food production to tap rising demand from Asia’s middle classes. The new farm may produce as much as 30,000 metric tons of formula a year. (For more on formula’s rise in China, see our in-depth report.)
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