Aussie billionaire Rinehart loses battle for massive iron ore deposit

The High Court in Perth, Australia, rejected Thursday Gina Rinehart's final bid to claw back a stake in the Rhodes Ridge project, one of Australia’s most valuable undeveloped iron-ore deposits, located in the Pilbara region.

The decision means that work on the vast deposit can now proceed, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and partner Wright Prospecting as the owners in a 50/50 deal.

The long-dragged dispute between Hancock Prospecting against Wright Prospecting, owned by a former business partner of Rinehart's father, goes back to the ‘80s.

Rinehart's father, Lang Hancock, and partner Peter Wright signed then a deal to divide their assets in an effort to avoid what ended up happening: legal battles between their heirs when they died.

The parties remain caught in another court battle over three of the six Hope Downs iron ore tenements, a venture also partially owned by Rio Tinto.