Rinehart loses court battle for Pilbara iron ore deposit

Gina Rinehart has lost her bid to win back a 25 per cent stake in the Rhodes Ridge iron ore project on Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The full bench of the High Court ruled Rinehart’s company Hancock Prospecting did not have grounds on which to appeal on previous rulings.

In 2010, a court ordered Hancock to cede its 25 per cent stake in the iron ore project to Wright Prospecting.

The decision handed ownership of the project to the Wright family which hold a 50 per cent stake, with Rio Tinto owning the remaining 50 per cent.

Peter Wright was the business partner of Rinehart's father, Lang Hancock, and the court battle stemmed from an agreement they made in the 1980s about the division of their assets.

An appeal by Hancock was dismissed in October 2012 but the company contested certain court orders and in February, the appeal against those orders was dismissed, The Age reported.

Wright Prospecting said it was pleased the matter had been resolved.

''Throughout this matter and the previous matters in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the Court of Appeal, Wright Prospecting's focus has been to enforce and protect its rights to 50 per cent of the Rhodes Ridge joint venture,'' it said.

''The company is pleased that today's ruling upholds those rights and the original judgment.''

Hancock and Wright remain in another court battle over three of the six Hope Downs iron ore tenements.

Wright is seeking half of Hancock's 50 per cent stake, claiming Hope Downs was jointly discovered by Lang Hancock and Peter Wright.

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