AUSTRALIAN billionaire Gina Rinehart, 59, who believes “beauty is an iron mine”, is included in Time Magazine’s List of the 100 most influential people. She is listed alongside Barack and Michelle Obama, Steven Spielberg, Kate Middleton, Jay Z and Beyonce. Julia Gillard made the shortlist for her speech against misogyny in Australian parliament, but did not make the final cut.
According to Forbes magazine, Ms Rinehart is Australia’s richest person with an estimated fortune of Aus$16.45bn and the fourth richest woman in the world. In 1992, she inherited a mining legacy from her father, Lang Hancock and multiplied it hundreds of times over by purchasing large mineral-rich areas of Western Australia. Her empire is still growing and she is predicted to become the world’s richest person, according to her Time Magazine entry.
Media mogul ambitions and family disputes are as much of a focus for Ms Rinehart as mining. In 2011, she was elected to the board of Channel Ten after purchasing a 10% stake in the company. She also acquired a 15% holding in Fairfax Media, owners of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, but was denied a board seat for refusing to sign a charter of editorial independence.
Last month, Ms Rinehart took senior Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson to court over her interview notes for the unauthorized biography, Gina Rinehart: The untold story of the richest woman in the world. Ms Rinehart wants the notes from interviews with her son, John Hancock, for use in legal proceedings against her three children who want her removed as trustee from the family trust.