Gina Rinehart, the Richest Person in Australia

With a net wealth of $31 billion, Gina Rinehart has once again come in as number one in Australia’s rich list.  

Born in Perth on the 9th of February 1954, she spent much of her early life in the Pilbara region on her parents’ large sheep and cattle properties. Her father, Lang Hancock, was also a mining magnate and founder of Hancock prospecting, established in 1955. Upon his death in 1992, Gina Rinehart took over as Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group. 

The Hancock Prospecting Group that Rinehart took over is very different to the successful company that it is now. In 1992, Hancock Prospecting was in a weak financial position; under the leadership of Rinehart, the company’s value has increased approximately 24,000% and recorded a net profit of $4 billion in 2020. Rinehart ensured the success of Hancock Prospecting by diversifying from just prospecting to iron, copper, potash, gold, coal, cattle, dairy and property. 

Rinehart oversaw the development and operation of the Roy Hill project, which is one of the most significant mining projects in Australia. The debt raised for the project was the largest ever for a greenfield land-based mining project in the world. Roy Hill is a $13 billion project, resulting in the construction of four major mines, and in 2020 paid off their debts ahead of schedule. The project taps into the biggest Marra Mamba ore deposit in the region and is expected to have a lifetime of at least 30 years. It is currently the largest iron ore mine in Australia. Roy Hill uses the largest mining equipment globally, and in support of women with breast cancer and women working in the mine, painted much of the infrastructure, including trucks and trains, pink. 

Combining all of the land controlled by Rinehart’s three companies results in her being Australia’s biggest landholder. She holds a total of 9.2 million hectares or 1.2% of the country. In 2016, Hancock Property Group joint purchased S. Kidman & Co Ltd. S. Kidman and Co is Australia’s largest beef producer with 171,000 heads of cattle and leases approximately 80,000 square kilometres of land in Australia.  

Gina Rinehart is the founder of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision; she has written two books, including “From Red Tape to Red Carpet …. And Then Some”. She is the largest non-government sponsor of Olympic teams, sponsoring Australia’s Olympic swimming, rowing, volleyball and synchronized swimming teams. She is the governor of AmCham (Australia) and founded Australia’s Annual National Mining and Related Industries Day and National Agriculture and Related Industries Day. She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bond University and has won numerous awards, including Chairman of the Year in 2014 and 2017. 

Rinehart’s continues to be one of Australia’s most prominent and impressive business people. Her position in Australia’s top 10 wealthiest people is inevitable for the next couple of decades. The business world is keen to see how long she maintains her position as the wealthiest person in Australia.