Rinehart retains top role on BRW richest list

Gina Rinehart is still the richest person in Australia, taking pole position on the 2014 BRW Rich 200 list, albeit with a slightly dwindled bank account.

The Pilbara-raised scion of the Hancock empire and current director of Hancock Prospecting is worth $20.1 billion, a shortfall of $2.01 billion on her net worth recorded by BRW last year.

However Rinehart’s wealth is expected to rise strongly again through 2015 as the Roy Hill Project starts to close in on the production phase.

In March Rinehart was rated second richest mining billionaire in the world by Forbes magazine, although their assessment valued her at $17.7 billion.

The Swiss chief executive of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg, has also held his 2013 ranking in fifth place with $6.63 billion.

Glasenberg’s value has increased by $1.01 billion on last year, thanks to Glencore’s share price improvement from a trough of $256.85 in July last year (current price $324.15).

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, has greatly improved his stake coming in at number seven with $5.86 billion, racing ahead by $2.2 billion and two spots from last year’s place at number nine.

Australian mining lost a billionaire supporter in the past year, Len Buckeridge, who was worth $2.1 billion when he died in March at the age of 77.

It was recently reported that Buckeridge had won a $50,000 prize from Gina Rinehart for his services to the mining industry, chiefly for supporting mining against ‘far left or non-understanding media attacks’.

Angela Bennett, daughter of Hancock Prospecting co-founder Peter Wright and arch rival to Gina Rinehart, is Australia’s second richest woman in mining with $1.55 billion, 100k better off than last year but down on her estimated worth of $2.03 billion in 2012.

Bennett is the head of Wright Prospecting and 15 per cent owner of Hamersley Iron, of which Rinehart owns 50 per cent.

The irrepressible Clive Palmer has not done well out of his turn to politics, shedding a cool billion in weight over the past year.

Palmer’s present worth of has fallen to $1.1 billion, and from 16th position last year to number 28.

Christopher Wallin, formerly the chief geologist for the Qld Department of Mines and Energy, displaced Clive Palmer as Queensland’s richest man in December 2013,but only for a short time as he has taken some pretty hard knocks on his coal investments in recent years.

Wallin has now lost his title of billionaire, having gone from net worth of $3.78 billion in 2012, to $2.8 billion in 2013 and tenth place on the BRW Rich List, and now has plunged to number 41 with only $970 million.

Image: BRW

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