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Mining magnates top Forbes list of richest Australians

Georgina Rinehart is Australia’s wealthiest individual with an estimated net worth of $9 billion, according to Forbes list of Australia’s 40 Richest released on Wednesday.

Rinehart’s net worth rose $7 billion from the previous year’s list. She also becomes the first woman to top the list:

Georgina Rinehart, who inherited her father’s ailing mining company in 1992 and slowly turned it around, saw her fortune rise from $2 billion to $9 billion last year, thanks to rising iron ore prices and increased production. Her fortune looks set to keep rising quickly. As well as expanding her iron ore operations, she’s developing two coal projects with an estimated total value of $15 billion.

Andrew Forrest, CEO of  Fortescue Metals Group, was number two at $6.9 billion.

The next miner on the list was Chris Wallin, owner of QCoal, who was listed at number 16 with $1.3 billion. Wallin is a long-time geologist who works in Queensland. QCoal reached a $145 million deal with Cleveland Cliffs, a U.S. steel company, to supply it with metallurgical coal from the Sonoma coal deposit.

Michael McCrae wrote this story. You can contact him at [email protected].