Iron ore and cattle magnate Gina Rinehart has placed 75th in Forbes’ 2019 list of the richest people in the world with a personal net worth of $US15.2 billion ($21.5 billion).
For point of comparison, American Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the list with a fortune of $US131 billion, while French L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers was the richest woman, placing 15th globally with $US49.3 billion.
While still comfortably Australia’s richest person, Rinehart’s dropped six positions lower than in the previous year’s list, where she was listed as the 69th richest person in the world.
Rinehart was also the only Australian citizen to break into the top 100, although Melbourne-born media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, a naturalised American since 1985, placed 52nd with a $US19.4 billion fortune.
Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting is one of the largest privately-owned companies in Australia and is particularly active in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The company’s major iron ore projects in the region include the Hope Downs joint venture project that is evenly split with Rio Tinto, and the $US10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project, which is 70 per cent-owned by Hancock.
The company is also well known for its fleet of mining trucks, which are painted pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
Hancock recently offered to buyout Canadian company Riversdale Resources for $591 million, an offer that Riversdale is currently mulling over.