MINING magnate Gina Rinehart has chosen former foreign minister Alexander Downer as her second representative on the board of oil and gas explorer Lakes Oil.
The deal saw Timeview Enterprises - a subsidiary of Hancock Prospecting - purchase $4.25 million worth of Lakes Oil convertible notes.
If fully converted into shares, Mrs Rinehart would control 18.6 per cent of shares in Lakes Oil, which is seeking to develop unconventional forms of oil and gas in Victoria.
Lakes Oil said on Friday Mr Downer had also been nominated by Hancock Prospecting to join the board as a non-executive director.
Mr Downer was Australia's longest-serving foreign minister, from 1996 to 2007. He also served as opposition leader between 1994 and 1995.
Earlier this week, Lakes Oil agreed to appoint Mrs Rinehart's nominee to its board - climate change sceptic and mining geologist Professor Ian Plimer.
Lakes Oil is focusing on the Otway basin and the Gippsland basin - which is close to the traditional Bass Strait oilfields as well as the Latrobe Valley power stations - and Hancock's John Klepec said the Rinehart camp had been impressed with the location of the tenements.