2012 Mining Billionaires: #4 Iris Fontbona

#4 Iris Fontbona

Iris Fontbona (pictured) is the widow of Andronico Luksic and her wealth stems from the copper giant Antofagasta. According to Bloomberg she and her family is worth $17.4 billion, number 32 on the 2012 list of billionaires and the richest people in Chile.

In 1980 Luksic, of Croation origin, bought control of the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway Company, a company incorporated in London, UK in the 19th century.

Over decades Luksic built Antofagasta into one of the biggest (and lowest cost) copper miners in the world starting with Los Pelambres and El Tesoro in Chile, expanding the railway operations and also moving into banking.

Today Antofagasta’s flagship is the copper and gold Esperanza mine in Chile and the company has exploration and mining ventures in Europe, Turkey, Australia, Africa and across the Americas and annual revenues of $4.5 billion.

He married his second wife Iris in 1961 and he died in 2005. He had two daughters and a son Jean Paul, who is chairman of Antofagasta, with Iris.

Forbes reports “during a December 2011 telethon, the usually press-averse Fontbona publicly donated $3 million to help Chileans with disabilities.”

The image is a still taken from a video of that event. $3 million translates to around 0.017% of the family’s wealth.


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