Gina Rinehart has taken a $4.25 million punt on unconventional oil and gas explorer Lakes Oil and installed confidant and climate change sceptic Professor Ian Plimer on the company's board.
Mrs Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting will take an 18.6 per cent diluted interest in the company through a convertible note issue.
Prof Plimer has been named a non-executive director of the company and it was expected another Rinehart nominee would join the company's board "in due course".
Lakes Oil, based in Melbourne, holds interests in the Otway and Gippsland basins in Victoria.
Shares in the company were up 0.1 cent, or 25 per cent, to 0.5 cents at 10.25am.