BRW rich list reflects tough year for iron ore

There were no prizes for guessing the tycoon who topped the BRW 2015 Rich List in Australia, however a rough year for iron ore miners has seen stocks plummet and fortunes dwindle.

The ever-divisive Gina Rinehart has retained her position as the nation’s richest person, holding the top spot with $14.02 billion, although cardboard box tycoon Anthony Pratt is nipping at her heels with $10.76 billion.

The estimated Rinehart fortune has dropped by a massive $6 billion in the past 12 months, a year plagued by low iron ore prices while she shores up the final stages of the Roy Hill project, due to come online later this year.

With production costs at Australia’s newest iron ore mine expected to be lower than ever thanks to modern automated systems, Rinehart may regain some value in the coming year if the price of iron ore remains steady at the least.

Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg has dropped one spot, from fifth to sixth place after he was leapfrogged by Chinese property magnate Hui Wing Mau.

Glasenberg’s wealth has remained relatively steady by comparison with Rinehart, taking a loss of $490 million, bringing him down to $6.14 billion.

Andrew Forrest has fallen back to ninth place, the same position he held in 2013.

After a tempestuous year of complaining about low iron ore prices and railing against his biggest competitors in the media, the founder of FMG has lost all of the gains made in 2013-14 and more.

Forrest’s value was pruned back by more than 60 per cent, falling from $$5.86 billion to $2.83 billion, a loss of $3.03 billion.

Leonie Baldock and Alexandra Burt had to fight their little half-sister for part of their inheritance to the Wright Family fortune earlier this year, and have landed at number 22 with $1.7 billion.

Wright Prospecting’s Angela Bennett has also taken a big hit, losing 25 per cent or half a billion to bring her back down to $1.5 billion at number 27.

However, Clive Palmer, considered the biggest loser in mining last year after losing a small fortune during his political campaign, has made a comeback this year.

Palmer may have fallen further down the list from 28 to 30, but he has regained 300 million in the past year, bringing him up to $1.4 billion in value.

Image: SMH

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