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Rinehart makes Times 100 most influential list

Time magazine has named Australian mining and media magnate, Gina Rinehart, as one of the world’s most influential people.

The only Australian to make the Times list featuring global leaders, artists, icons and pioneers, Ms Rinehart was dubbed the “Iron Woman”, partly in reference to her iron ore holdings, through her company Hancock Prospecting.

As the article says, “The spectre of Rinehart looms above the Australian landscape: an improbably wealthy, concrete-minded, broad-shouldered woman who spent more than a decade in legal and personal battles with her stepmother and four children and insists nothing will come before the company she calls the House of Hancock. Mining, she says, will save resource-rich, prosperous Australia from ruin. The poor should drink less and work harder.”

Australia’s richest person, Ms Rinehart controls vast iron ore and coal projects as well as holding 10% of Ten Network Holdings (ASX: TEN) and a 15% stake in Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ). She also receives royalties from every tonne of iron ore Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) produces from its Pilbara mines, worth millions in their own right. Appearing at fifth on Forbes’ richest women in the world list, Ms Rinehart is predicted to become the world’s richest person, with suggestions her wealth could swell to more than $100 billion.

Ms Rinehart inherited a fortune from her father Lang Hancock, and has multiplied it hundreds of times over by acquiring large swathes of mineral-rich red land in Western Australia and turning iron into gold. It hasn’t hurt that Ms Rinehart’s coal companies have enjoyed significant success in Queensland. Earlier this year, Hancock Prospecting and its partners discovered a new coal resources estimated to be worth in the billions of dollars.

Also on the list are newly-installed Pope Francis, American musician Jay-Z, US president Barack Obama, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and President of the European Central Bank, Mario “Whatever-it-takes” Draghi.

Foolish takeaway

Well done to Ms Rinehart for turning the business she inherited from her father into such mind-boggling wealth, and for the recognition that she has received from magazines such as Time.

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