WA mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest have made stunning comebacks on the 2017 Forbes rich list on the back of a resurgent iron ore price.
Ms Rinehart reclaimed the title of the richest Australian and 69th richest person in the world owing to her iron ore interests in the Pilbara (primarily her stakes in the Hope Downs and Roy Hill iron ore projects) as well as her burgeoning interests in the Australian cattle industry following her takeover of the Kidman cattle empire late last year.
Forbes estimated her wealth at $US15 billion ($19.4 billion), up from $US8.5 billion last year.
Meanwhile Andrew Forrest – who holds a 33 per cent stake in the iron miner he founded, Fortescue Metals Group – was ranked the 261st richest person in the world and the third richest in Australia with a net worth estimated at $US5.7 billion. Last year, his net worth was estimated at just $US2.1 billion.
The pair’s wealth surge over the past year is directly attributable to the rallying price of iron ore.
A year ago today, iron ore was trading around $US59 a tonne, compared with today’s price of $US91.49 a tonne.
Other notable West Aussies on the Forbes rich list were Stan Perron, ranked 1098, $1.9b (property, retail), Kerry Stokes, ranked 1161, $US1.8b (Seven Group, Seven West Media and Australian Capital Equity), Jack Cowin, ranked 1234, $US1.7b (Hungry Jacks and Angela Bennett, ranked 1468, $US1.4b (mining).
Nationally, in between Mrs Rinehart and Mr Forrest was east coast apartment developer Harry Triguboff with a net worth of $US8.5 billion, ranking him the third richest person in Australia and the 153rd richest person in the world.
After that, the Australian rankings came in at:
(4) Frank Lowy, ranked 269, $US5.6b (Westfield)
(5) Anthony Pratt, ranked 385, $US4.4b (Visy)
(6) John Gandel, ranked 441, $US4b (shopping malls)
(7) Vivek Chaand Sehgal, ranked 501, $US3.7b (auto parts)
(8) Lindsay Fox, ranked 603, $US3.2b (transport, logistics and property)
(9) James Packer, ranked 660, $US3b (gaming)
(10) Fiona Geminder, ranked 782, $US2.6b (packaging)
(11) Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, ranked 973, $US2.1b each (co-founders of software firm Atlassian)
Globally, Microsoft founder Bill Gates again topped the Forbes rich list at $US86 billion, investor Warren Buffett was the second richest with $US75.6 billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was third with $US72.8 billion, Zara boss Amancio Ortega was the fourth richest with $US71.3 billion and Facebook founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg was fifth with $US56 billion.