Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has added to her wealth after her mining company Hancock Prospecting reported a 50 per cent surge in profit on the back of soaring prices for iron ore.
Days after Mrs Rinehart topped The Australian Financial Review’s 2020 Rich List with an estimated $29 billion fortune, financial accounts reveal her private company’s after-tax profit rose from $2.6 billion to $4 billion in the past financial year.
While many of Australia’s top export commodities such as coal and liquefied natural gas have faced sharp falls due to various impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, iron ore has soared and remains above $US110 a tonne, providing a windfall to mining giants such as Fortescue, BHP, Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting’s majority-owned Roy Hill.
The price of the steelmaking raw material has been lifted by strong demand from China’s steel mills – ramping up output to stimulate the economy – and softer-than-expected output from overseas iron ore producers, such as Brazil’s Vale. China is by far the world’s top consumer of iron ore, buying more than 70 per cent of seaborne cargoes.