Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart is Australia's chairperson of the year

Australian mining billionaire, Gina Rinehart, was named Thursday Down Under’s chairperson of the year by CEO Magazine.

The publication commended Rinehart's handling of her private firm Hancock Prospecting, which she inherited in the early nineties from her father Lang Hancock, the legendary discoverer of the world’s largest iron deposit at the Pilbara region, in 1952.

When Rinehart, 59, 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. But she has built it into the world’s number one private mining business.

CEO Magazine managing director Chris Dutton said her leadership qualities had been well demonstrated on a local and global scale in the past year, News9 reports.

The award comes as Rinehart is in the midst of trying to lure investors for her massive $9.4 billion Roy Hill iron ore mining project in Western Australia.

She is also dealing with a long-running legal battle with two of her children over who should manage a $4 billion family trust.