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HOTLINE: Rinehart gains title as world's richest woman

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Hotline has spent much time over the years listing the world's richest people in metals and mining, be they Novolipetsk Steel's Vladimir Lisin or the well-known Lakshmi Mittal.

One thing that stands out about them is that most of those on the list have been men - until now.

Meet Gina Rinehart, officially the world's richest woman, whose assets total the equivalent of $28 billion, according to Australian business weekly BRW.

Rinehart's fortunes also maker her Australia's richest individual - no mean feat considering that she made her first appearance on the country's rich list 20 years ago with the meagre sum of A$75 million ($73.2 million).

The way things are going for Ms Rinehart, she could be on the way to the very top, and to beating Mexican telecoms guru Carlos Slim with his $69 billion fortune.

The Sydney Morning Herald said that Rinehart's fortune grew by A$19 billion in 2011, or by A$598 per second.

The Australian mining magnate is head of prospecting company Hancock, which holds numerous iron ore leases in Western Australia's Pilbara region, including a 50% share of revenues from the Rio Tinto-operated Hope Downs mine.

Hancock's activities also include the ferruginous manganese project at Nicholas Downs, and the wholly owned subsidiary Jacaranda Alliance to explore for minerals and oil in Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

Another richest-woman title will not be a first for Rinehart, as she assumed the crown for the Asia-Pacific region in March. But richest in the world would be quite a feather in her cap.

editorial@metalbulletin.com

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