NT station in prawn farm deal

Shares in Commodities Group rose after the company announced an access and option agreement over a Northern Territory cattle station as part of its plan to create Australia's biggest prawn farm operation.

The three-year agreement with the 180,000ha Legune Station give Commodities Group the right to begin planning for a prawn farming venture on the property as well as the option to purchase the station outright.

"The signing of the access and option agreement has put Seafarms in a position to immediately begin the process of obtaining regulatory and environmental approvals, completing a bankable feasibility study and arranging funding for Project Sea Dragon," the company said in a statement.

Commodities Group has put a cost of $1.45 billion on Project Sea Dragon, based on 10,000ha of land-based black tiger prawn production facilities for domestic and international wholesale markets.

The Ian Trahar controlled and led company envisages a staged rollout of its plan, which would eventually employ 1600 workers across operation in Darwin, Legune Station, Kununurra, Wyndham and Exmouth.

Commodities Group said the agreement would put it in a position to engage with potential financial partners, including those who had previously expressed interest in participating in the project.

"This, together with a successful Christmas 2014 trading period for its north Queensland prawn operations, sets the company and Seafarms (its subsidiary) up for a strong and productive 2015 year," Commodities Group said in a statement.

The company bought Coral Sea Farms in Queensland in September last year for $4.2 million as part of a trial for its wider Project Sea Dragon plan.

Shares in Commodities Group were up 0.4 cents, or 4.94 per cent, to 8.5 cents at 9am.

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