2012 Mining Billionaires: #26 Alexander Abramov, #27 Gautam Adani, #28 Dennis Washington

#26 Alexander Abramov

The most of Alexander Abramov‘s money is held in Evraz Plc, which he and number 14 on the list Roman Abramovich and co-founder Alexander Frolov listed London in November last year.

Despite Evraz’s successful public offer, one of many Russian firms heading to the UK, Abramov (pictured in 2011) has not had a good year and is worth $5.4 billion, down from $7.5 billion last year and a high of $11.5 billion in 2008.

Forbes describes his rise this way: “In 1992, he established a precursor to Evraz Holding and made a fortune exporting metals and coal from the Urals and Siberia. After the 1998 Russian financial crisis, Abramov bought up hobbled steel companies and coal mines on the cheap.”

Evraz today operates four iron ore and two coal mines in Russia and Ukraine, including Russia’s largest met coal producer Yuzhkuzbassugol and has extensive vanadium plants and mines in South Africa and the US. .

The 53-year old lives in Moscow, the city with the most billionaires worldwide, and is married with three children. Abramov wasn’t always a businessman; he started work at a Soviet defence and space research lab after graduating from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

#27 Gautam Adani

Gautam Adani‘s net worth is pegged at $5.4 billion by Forbes.

Adani, who has become a huge investor in Australia’s mining infrastructure and ports, was implicated in the scandals in Karnataka over illegal mining. Mining has been banned in India’s iron ore rich state and Adani has subsequently lost out on port tenders. The company is also involved in power generation, solar energy and real estate.

He is India’s 11th richest person, but his level of wealth has fluctuated dramatically. In 2008 he was worth more than $9 billion, only to see it drop to less than $2 billion during the financial crisis. Adani built it back up to $10 billion in 2010 only to see it almost halve again this year.

He is 49 years old, married with two children and lives in his home town of Ahmedabad. He was born into a merchant family and started his path to riches as a young man sorting and trading diamonds in Mumbai after dropping out of college.

#28 Dennis Washington

77-year old Dennis Washington’swealth – “built up the old fashioned way” says Forbes – stands at $5 billion even.

Forbes reports “the child of divorced parents, he had a tough start, “I went to seven grade schools. I was a god damn cripple,” he says, referring to his childhood bout with polio, from which he fully recovered. He eventually settled down in Montana with his grandparents. After working for his uncle’s construction company he went out on his own and got a $30,000 loan from a local Caterpillar dealer to start his own highway construction firm.”

The construction business was successful and Washington quickly diversified into mining. What really gave the Washington Co. momentum was a copper and molybdenum mine in Butte, Montana, which he acquired in 1986 and shortly thereafter re-opened.

In contrast to the wild swings in many other billionaires’ fortunes Washington net worth has been steadily climbing since 2007 and even the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent barely registered on his income statement.

Born in Spokane, Washington, he lives in Missoula, Montana and is married with two children. A keen yacht-builder and sailor Washington (pictured in 2007 on the Attessa) owns an island off the British Columbia coast. Washington’s $5 billion does not buy him a top 200 spot globally, but he is 64th in the US.


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