Aussie magnate Rinehart giving up trustee role to end children’s suit

Australian mining billionaire, Gina Rinehart, is ready to walk away from a $4 billion family trust to end a long-running legal battle with two of her children over who gets what and when.

John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart sued their mother in September 2011, attempting to remove her as head of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust. They alleged she engaged in serious misconduct.

The New South Wales Supreme Court heard Tuesday Rinehart wants to go to mediation to appoint a new trustee, who should ideally be a family member, sources told ABC.

But even if she is replaced as the trustee, her son John Hancock reportedly wants to move forward with a probe over his mother's conduct as head of the family trust, according to ABC.

Late last year the children were awarded 80% of legal costs after their mother lost one of many attempts to have the case thrown out.

Rinehart, 59, inherited Hancock Prospecting from her father Lang Hancock, who discovered the world’s largest iron deposit in the Pilbara region in 1952.

When she took over 20 years ago following the death of her second husband (she has not remarried since), the family firm was debt-ridden and struggling and she built it into the world’s number one private mining business.

Hancock Prospecting is currently holding talks with potential investors to develop a A$10 billion ($9.4 billion) iron ore project in Western Australia.