The Executive Chair of Hancock Prospecting, a privately-owned mineral exploration and extraction company founded by her father, Lang Hancock, has more than doubled her already formidable wealth in the past 12 months to A$28.89 billion.
Rinehart, who revealed the people who inspire her at The CEO Magazine Executive of the Year Awards 2019, paid the first dividend from Hancock Prospecting’s majority owned Roy Hill mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Hancock extracted one billion tonnes of iron ore over a period when the price kept rising to meet the insatiable demand from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Iron ore prices were around US$80 a tonne late last year and rose to a peak of more than US$125 last month.
More than 50,000 people in the Australasia region have been directly and indirectly employed thanks to the Roy Hill mega project. Some of these operate some of the largest equipment in the worlds mining industry in another first, Hancock Prospecting states.
The price of iron ore also helped Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest into second place on the AFR Rich List. Forrest, Founder and Chair of Fortescue, reportedly has a net worth of A$23 billion – almost triple his A$7.99 billion fortune last year.
Fortescue, the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world, announced its biggest-ever full year profit and a record dividend payment in August.
The high price for iron ore price saw 12 Western Australian miners in the top 200 list this year as they collectively doubled their wealth with a combined fortune of nearly A$80 billion.
Comparatively, the top 200 on average ‘only’ increased their net worth by 24% in the AFR Rich List.
The vast increases in wealth generated by Rinehart and Forrest saw last year’s richest person on the AFR Rich List, Visy Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt, drop into third position even though his fortune swelled from A$15.57 billion to A$19.75 billion. Pratt was recently named Fastmarkets RISI’s 2020 North American CEO of the Year, Visy reported.
Hui Wing Mau, the Chair of Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Shimao Property Holdings, a property developer in mainland China, was fourth at A$18.06 billion, up from A$10.39 billion last year. He went to university in South Australia and is an Australian citizen.
Atlassian Co-Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes was fifth on A$16.93 billion, up from $9.63 billion last year.