How the might miners have fallen, down under! « Mining Blog

How the might miners have fallen, down under!

10. December 2011,

How the mighty have fallen!

Well, they’re far from being completely down, down-under. However, Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman (and the richest woman in mining) has seen her personal fortune reduce by around A$1.6 billion over the past six months.

And Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg must be crying all the way from the bank as his personal stake in the London-listed giant commodities trader and mining company, falls by more than 25%.

The list on which these calculations are based was published this week by Australia’s SmartCompany, and are compared with those published last May by the Business Review Weekly (BRW).

Notable, too, is the link made between Rinehart, and Angela Bennett & Michael Wright – number 15 in the list, and the world’s second biggest mining company, Rio Tinto. Bennett and Wright are siblings who inherited a family firm that receives $100 million in annual royalties from the Anglo-Australian company’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

(Note that references to the Ricest Australians not directly involved in the minerals industry have been cut out of the article below).

RICH PICKINGS: Tracing Rinehart’s commodity rout
James Thomson
Business Spectator
9 Dec 2011

Falling iron ore prices have failed to prevent Gina Rinehart from retaining top spot on SmartCompany’s special end-of-year rich list.

While the iron ore empress has seen her fortune fall below the magical $10 billion mark, Rinehart remains Australia’s richest person, with an estimated fortune of $8.5 billion.

That means her fortune has dropped by around $1.8 billion since the publication of BRW’s Rich 200 edition in May, but she isn’t the biggest loser for the year.

That title goes to Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, who has been on an incredible wealth roller-coaster.

He emerged from the float of the commodities trading giant with a fortune of about $9 billion, and was listed on the BRW list with a fortune of $8.8 billion in May. But a 27 per cent fall in the value of Glencore shares has seen the value of his holding fall to $6.6 billion, down a whopping $2.6 billion.

In total, the 15 billionaires at the top of the BRW list have seen their value fall by a total of $7.9 billion, from $67.2 billion on May 26 to $59.3 billion based on current estimates.

That’s a fall of 11.8 per cent, which is actually markedly worse than the 8.1 per cent fall in the benchmark ASX 200 index over the same period.

Here’s how the end-of-year rich list stands. BRW’s Rich 200 valuations from May have been used as a base and have then been adjusted for share price movements. These are estimates only.

1. Gina Rinehart – $8.5 billion

Given Rinehart’s fortune is tied to that of her joint venture partner Rio Tinto, so the big miner’s share price provides a handy proxy for Rinehart’s very private fortune. Recent falls in commodity prices have taken a toll.

2. Ivan Glasenberg – $6.2 billion

The 27 per cent fall in Glencore’s share price since listing in May has eaten into its CEO’s fortune. As with Rinehart, falling commodity prices have played a big part.

4. Andrew Forrest – $4.7 billion

Twiggy’s fortune has followed the iron ore price down, with $1.48 billion of his wealth eroding since the BRW Rich 200.

6. Clive Palmer – $4.6 billion

Getting a line on Palmer’s mainly undeveloped coal interests isn’t easy. We’ve used a 9 per cent drop in the price of Queensland coal as a guide, meaning a $450 million fall in his fortune.

10. Chris Wallin – $2.8 billion

As with Palmer, a 9 per cent fall in the coal price has taken a small chunk off Wallin’s fortune.

11. Len Buckeridge – $2.7 billion

The Perth building billionaire’s fortune is hard to line up. We’ve used fellow building company Brickworks as a company and its shares have risen slightly since May.

15. Angela Bennett & Michael Wright – $1.8 billion

As with Rinehart, Rio Tinto provides the best proxy for the wealth of this brother and sister combination.

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