Mining magnate Gina Rinehart, Australia's richest person, has just been named richest woman in the world and is on her way to becoming the richest person in the world, according to the BRW Rich 200 list. She has now passed up Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton in the realm of I-can-swim-in-my-money-like-Scrooge-McDuck.
Rinehart--whose value was estimated at a staggering $19 billion less last year than its current figure of $29 billion--has astounded many in her homeland by effectively raising her fortune in a rough year when many of her contemporaries were losing money. The key to her success, says Andrew Heathcote, is the acquisition of partnerships for making huge deals.
"It's really helped her get to a level that we've never seen any of our resources barons get to in Australia before," Heathcote says.
In a time when natural resources are in high demand for Australia, Rinehart's business--which she inherited from her father Lang Hancock--is booming. But big money comes with big problems, and Rinehart is currently involved in several lawsuits, some of which were brought against her by her own family over allegations that she has tried to ruin them financially. However, given that she could pretty much buy and sell anyone she comes into contact with, it's probably not much of a concern.