$18b cash pile lets Rinehart play both sides of energy transition – by James Thomson (Australian Financial Review – December 5, 2022)


The iron ore queen’s kingdom is getting broader by the day, spanning fossil fuels as well as future-facing commodities.

Buried within the bidder’s statement lodged by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting as part of its tilt at Perth Basin gas group Warrego Energy is a remarkable indication of her financial firepower.

The deal, Hancock Prospecting says, will be funded by existing cash reserves. At June 30, cash and cash equivalents sat at a remarkable $17.755 billion – even after paying $4.6 billion of dividends from 2021-22’s $5.8 billion profit.

While this remarkable cash pile – perhaps unmatched in the Australian business community – has been built on Rinehart’s flagship iron ore operations, Monday provided a reminder how Rinehart is building a broader portfolio of mining and resources interests that will let her play both sides of the energy transition.

Shortly after Hancock Prospecting was confirmed as the leading bidder for Warrego – Kerry Stokes’ Beach Energy now has the chance to match Rinehart’s $342 million offer – Perth rare earths hopeful Arafura confirmed Hancock had grabbed a 10 per cent stake by pumping $60 million into a $121 million capital raising.

For the rest of this article: https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/18b-cash-pile-lets-rinehart-play-both-sides-of-energy-transition-20221205-p5c3tq