Billionaire Rinehart Goes Back To Court Over 3 Billion-Ton Iron Ore Stake
AUSTRALIA – Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman, is attempting to reclaim a stake in one of Australia’s most valuable iron ore assets after a judge awarded the holding to Wright Prospecting Pty two years ago.
Rinehart’s appeal of the decision to strip her of a 25 per cent stake in the Rhodes Ridge property, which holds more than 3 billion tons of iron ore, is scheduled to begin today in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth.
The appeal continues an 11-year dispute between the heirs of Lang Hancock and Peter Wright, whose iron-ore discoveries in WA in the 1950s and 1960s made Rinehart the richest person in the country and Wright’s children, Angela Bennett and Michael Wright, the 14th wealthiest, according to BRW’s Rich 200 list. That rich list recently tallied Rinehart’s fortune as some $US29 billion, making her the world’s richest woman.
Development of Rhodes Ridge may generate $US2.5 billion a year in operating profit for Rio Tinto Group, which owns half the project, and its joint venture partner, said Peter Strachan, a resources analyst at StockAnalysis.
“Iron ore is the new black,” Perth-based Strachan said in a telephone interview, referring to the current popularity of the commodity.
Iron ore has more than doubled to $US131.40 a ton as of June 8 from $US59.10 on March 27, 2009.
Iron ore generates the most revenue for both London-based Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. China is the largest customer for both companies, providing 31 per cent of sales to Rio and 28 per cent to BHP in their most recent financial years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Read more: [ smh.com.au ]
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