Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest continues fight to preserve family land
Australian billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is two years into a legal dispute to prevent mineral exploitation on his family land in Minderoo, Western Australia.
Forrest made a fortune in iron ore but does not want mining activity on his 500,000-acre family ranch. He has strong emotional ties to the property: in 2009 he bought back the land that his father, Donald, was forced to sell in 1998 as a result of debt and drought.
Australia – unlike Canada, the US or UK – maintains a system of public mineral resource ownership, where anything below the top meter "belongs to the Australian people."
Under Western Australian law, any explorer can apply to the Warden's court to gain access to private land.
Forrest is attempting to fight off exploration pressure from sand miner Yarri Mining Pty Ltd and a uranium project from Cauldron Energy.