A major wagyu cattle operation in the Pilbara is a step closer to creating a $3 billion premium beef industry in WA’s north after it secured access to highly sought after pastoral land in the Kimberley. Pardoo Beef Corporation — owned by Singaporean businessman Bruce Cheung — has negotiated a 20-year sublease over a portion of the Yarranggi pastoral lease (formerly known as Leopold Downs) with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation. Under the agreement, unproductive cattle grazing land has been excised for the Fitzroy National Park, leaving Pardoo with about 300,000ha of the former Leopold Station (previously 405,000ha) and the full 80,000ha of Fairfield, now called Yuwa. The Pardoo agreement ends years of negotiations with other parties keen to gain access to the sought after land. A non-binding agreement between Bunuba and ASX-listed Australian Agricultural Company was signed in 2012, but negotiations also failed. And then in 2017, billionaire businessman Kerry Stokes’ Australian Capital Equity entered into exclusive negotiations for a sublease of the property. PBC chief financial officer Neville Crook declined to disclose a price but said the agreement included a program to improve infrastructure including watering points and fencing. “We are not committing to a number (of cattle), that will be ongoing,” he said. “The growth in cattle numbers will be judged in step with the speed of infrastructure improvements and what we judge the land can sustainably carry. “The aim is to run a good cattle producing operation, rather than just cattle harvesting.” PBC will use its new property for pure bred wagyu cattle, their breeding and genetics selected to thrive in northern conditions. Cattle bred on the Yarranggi pastoral lease would be finished at the company’s main property Pardoo Station, in the Pilbara, which operates 20 irrigation pivots covering almost 900ha, to grow its own fodder. PBC plans to build a wagyu production hub in the Pilbara worth $3b to the WA economy by 2031. Mr Cheung said the lease agreement was an excellent outcome for the pastoral industry in the north and a demonstration of best practice and knowledge transfer through a collaboration between private enterprise and Indigenous communities.