Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting, was already determined to be Australia’s richest person earlier this year. Now, three coal and iron ore projects in the works will make her the wealthiest person in the world.
57-year-old Rinehart inherited her father’s mining company 20 years ago, but her riches did not simply fall into her lap. Rinehart fought her stepmother for the estate for 14 years before gaining control and boosting Hancock Prospecting through a boom in iron ore demand and a joint venture with Rio Tinto.
Rinehart’s fortune doubled in the last year alone because of a commodities boom.
Australian business website SmartCompany has calculated that Rinehart’s current projects—the Roy Hill iron ore in WA, the Alpha Coal in Queensland, and Kevin’s Corner coal in Queensland—will be responsible for her rise to the top, as she owns her companies outright and does not have shareholders.
“If Rinehart was a company listed on the [Australian Stock Exchange] and valued using the same 11-times price-to-earnings ratio as her partner, Rio Tinto, she would be worth $30 billion, putting her in the top 10 of the Forbes rich list,” said SmartCompany. “It is possible to see Rinehart’s portfolio of coal and iron ore production spinning off annual profits approaching $10 billion,” giving her a “personal net worth valuation of more than $100 billion.”
If you’re not familiar with Ms. Rinehart’s name or face, her financial domination may sound surprising—she is well known among her direct peers but is notorious for shying away from the public eye.