Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is once again Australia’s richest person after soaring commodity prices over the past year considerably boosted her fortune.
Rinehart was the only Australian to feature in the global top 100 of Forbes’ annual list as the 69th richest person in the world.
Her net worth grew substantially to an estimated $US15 billion ($19.5 billion), up from $US8.5 billion in 2016 when she finished as Australia’s second richest person behind US-based Blair Parry-Okeden.
Rinehart’s wealth has surged as the value of iron ore increased from under $US60 a tonne this time last year to now being more than $US90 a tonne.
A Forbes biography of Rinehart, the chair of Hancock Prospecting, explained that she is “Australia’s richest citizen but her wealth is built on iron ore and her fortune can either jump or plummet depending on the price of the commodity.
“The biggest piece of her fortune comes from Hope Downs, a joint-venture mine she has with Rio Tinto. The other is the massive Roy Hill project, a world-class iron ore mine in Western Australia that started shipments to Asia in December 2015,” Forbes outlined.
Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest was named Australia’s third richest person, and 261st overall, with an estimated fortune of $US5.7 billion.
Forrest’s net worth also skyrocketed off the back of the sharp rise in iron ore prices, lifting from $US1.3 billion in Forbes’ 2016 list.