Two iron ore moguls have been named Australia’s richest and second-richest individuals of the year.
Hancock Prospecting chair Gina Rinehart and Fortescue Metals Group non-executive chairman Andrew Forrest both ranked at the top of the 2020 Australian Financial Review Rich List.
Wealth tops nearly $29B
Rinehart claimed the top gong with a record-high estimated wealth of $28.89 billion, representing a 109 per cent jump on her 2019 result. Forrest came in second with an estimated wealth of $23B, which was up 187.9 per cent on the previous year.
Fairfax Media revealed the magnates received major pay rises after Mainland Chinese infrastructure projects caused demand for iron ore to jump, particularly before the pandemic began.
A total of 12 rich listers who are linked to the mining sector have similarly seen their wealth double to nearly $80 billion collectively, giving rise to what the publisher has dubbed the “ore-ligarch” elite group.
104 billionaires call ‘lucky country’ home
Across the board the ‘lucky country’ has a record-high 104 billionaires with a collective wealth of $424B, representing a 24 per cent increase on the previous year.
“It has been one of the most turbulent years the Rich List team have ever encountered. At the start of the pandemic many of the fortunes of the nation’s wealthiest were crumbling but they have proven to be exceptional business builders,” Rich List co-editor Julie-anne Sprague said in a public statement.
“They have taken advantage of shifting demands within the economy, driving overall wealth to new highs.”
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