Gina Rinehart Loses $1bn and Deposed as World's Richest Woman

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By Hannah Osborne | February 5, 2013 2:04 AM EST

Georgina Rinehart is still the richest person in Australia (Twitter)

Gina Rinehart, the 58-year-old mining tycoon, lost her spot as the richest woman in the world but remained the wealthiest Australian with her $17 billion (£10.8 billion) fortune.

The Forbes Rich List shows that Rinehart out-earned the second richest Aussie by more than 2.5 times; Glencore International CEO Ivan Glasenberg earned $6.7 billion (£4.25 million).

Rinehart was also the only woman to appear on Australia's top 50 rich list.

Last year, the heiress of Hancock Prospecting lost just under $1 billion - she was worth $18 billion (£11.4 billion) in last year's list having doubled her fortune from the year before following a deal with South Korean steel giant Posco.

The company took a 15 percent stake in her Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia in a deal valuing around $10 billion (£6.35 billion).

However, Rinehart lost a chunk of her fortune in 2012 thanks to sharp falls in iron ore and coal prices, which damaged the Australian mining industry.

In September, Australia's BRW magazine said around $15 billion (£9.9 billion) had been wiped from the wealth of Australia's mining tycoons in just four months.

Sued by three children 

Princes of iron ore fell by around 39 per cent between April and September.

Rinehart also lost a legal battle with real estate magnate Stan Perron, which cost her dearly. Her battle with Australia's 12 richest person saw her lose a slice of her Hamersley iron ore royalties.

Hamersley is Rinehart's original source of wealth, which she inherited from her father Lang Hancock before branching out into other sectors of business, including the media industry.

Last year she also cut three of her children out of the family trust because she thought they were not fit to manage the fortune.

The children, Hope, Bianca and Joan, are now suing their mother to get her removed from her position as head of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust because of "serious misconduct".

As well as a substantial fortune, the trust also holds almost a quarter share in Hancock Prospecting.

Rinehart said her three eldest were lazy and spoiled. Her youngest daughter, Ginia, sided with her mother. 

Christy Walton, the daughter-in-law of the late WalMart founder Sam Walton, has an estimated net worth of $25.3bn

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