Potash potentate in $4.4 BILLION divorce settlement

Dmitry Rybolovlev, 47, came in at number 16 on the MINING.com mining rich list last year with a fortune of just less than $9 billion.

The Russian oligarch is set to slide down the rankings after a Swiss court awarded his ex-wife a record-breaking divorce settlement after a six year fight.

An eye-watering US$4.38 billion, Elena Rybolovlev's payout will take some beating.

Rybolovlev, one of the youngest billionaire outside Silicon Valley, worked for father’s medical device firm in 1990s before setting up an investment firm called Perm, in time for the great Yeltsin industrial asset sale bonanza.

He met Elena in Perm in the Ural mountains during that tumultuous time in Russia and the couple married in Cyprus in 1991.

He had a rough patch in 1996, spending almost a year in Russia's toughest prison awaiting trial after being accused of a plot to kill a business partner.

Rybolovlev's giant payday came in 2010 after he sold part of his controlling stake in potash giant Uralkali for $6.5bn. The deal turned out to be well-timed – potash is a very different market  today than four years ago.

Since then has been splashing out on property around the world:

The Donald Trump Palm Beach mansion, Maison de L'Amitie, he picked up for $95m in 2008 and he set the bar for New York with $88m for a Manhattan apartment for his daughter Ekaterina. Elena was awarded custody of their younger daughter, Anna, who is 13.

He paired his $300m Belle Époque penthouse in Monaco, with the ownership of the local soccer team, but like so many Russian billionaires burnt his fingers during the Cyprus banking crisis.

The Guardian reports whrn asked why it had taken six years to obtain a judgment, Elena's lawyer replied:

"Because the oligarch put up strong resistance," adding that the harsh ruling took into account the fact that Rybolovlev had attempted to conceal the full extent of his assets via offshore ventures.

Potash potentate in $4.4 BILLION divorce settlement

Dmitry Rybolovlev and an unidentified woman. Source: Youtube