Miners dominate Forbes rich list

Gina Rinehart has again topped the Forbes Australia’s 50 Richest list.

Rinehart’s fortune has almost doubled since Forbes’ previous list in January 2016 as iron ore prices have improved.

The Hancock Prospecting chair’s net worth is $US16.6 billion ($21.6 billion) in Forbes’ 2017 list, an $US8.1 billion gain on the $US8.5 billion fortune it reported at the start of last year.

Iron ore was worth $US42 a tonne when Forbes calculated its 2016 list, compared with around $US62 a tonne when it released this year’s report.

The improvement in iron ore prices has also boosted the wealth of other mining identities, including Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest, who was sixth overall.

After Forrest’s net worth dipped to $US1.24 billion in January 2016, his fortune has risen by 255 per cent to $US4.4 billion in the latest list.

Forrest was not, however, the next mining-related identity to feature in the list, with the Fortescue chairman pipped for fifth place by Bianca Rinehart, Gina’s daughter.

Bianca’s net worth is $US5 billion, according to Forbes, due to her being the trustee of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, which holds 23.4 per cent of Hancock Prospecting.

This is the first time Gina Rinehart’s children have featured on the Forbes list.

Kerry Stokes (14th) and Angela Bennett (23rd), who both have interests in the mining industry, also made the list with fortunes of $US2.6 billion and $US1.7 billion, respectively.

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