$3bn hit for WA’s biggest mine moguls – by Paul Garvey (The Australian – June 10, 2013)


ALMOST $3 billion has been wiped off the net worth of some of Perth’s most prominent mining executives this year, underscoring the pain being felt at the top end of a West Australian economy that appears to be cooling rapidly.

An analysis of data by The Australian has found that the average value of the shareholdings held by 10 of the biggest names in WA’s resources-dominated economy has fallen by more than 38 per cent from the peaks of the past six months.

The biggest fall in dollar terms has been felt by Andrew Forrest, whose major shareholding in Fortescue Metals Group has shed almost $2.1bn since the iron-ore miner reached its 2013 peak of $5.39 a share on Valentine’s Day.

In percentage terms, those hardest hit have come from the mining services sector.

Ron Sayers, the founder of drilling contractor Ausdrill, has seen his stake in the company plummet by 61.7 per cent in less than four months. Ausdrill stock has come under particular pressure in recent months, as investors bet on mining companies cutting back on discretionary spending on exploration drilling in an effort to rein in costs.

Ongoing exploration success from Sirius Resources’ Nova and Bollinger copper-nickel discoveries has not been enough to insulate the company from the market bloodshed of recent months.

The pull-back in the value of the explorer has eaten into the fortune of famed prospector Mark Creasy, who is both a major shareholder of Sirius and the owner of a 30 per cent direct stake in the discoveries.

The hit to the net worth of some of WA’s richest citizens comes as concerns continue to mount about the direction of the state’s economy, which has enjoyed stellar growth in the past decade on the back of a mining boom whose best days look to be behind it.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bn-hit-for-was-biggest-mine-moguls/story-e6frg9df-1226660992511

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