Fortescue Metal’s share price has plunged this year, following free falling iron ore prices, cutting the fortune of its founder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest in half.
This has reduced Forrest’s worth to about $2.8 billion and dragged him from the richest 10 people in Australia list.
However, Fairfax Media reports that Forrest is confident the mining company can withstand the weakening iron ore price and continue providing cash for his philanthropic work.
“I didn’t count it on the way up and I’m not counting it now,” Mr Forrest told Fairfax Media.
Shares in Fortescue Metals closed yesterday at $2.74, a level not seen since the GFC in 2009, and down more than 50% since the start of 2014.
Iron ore stocks, especially those will 100% of business in the ore, have been sold down as the price of the commodity slumps more than 45% this year on concerns that demand from China is slowing.
Other Australia billionaires with an exposure to iron ore mining have also lost out.
The value of Kerry Stokes’s stake in Seven Group, which owns the WesTrac mining equipment business, fell $715 million to just $1.2 billion in the past 12 months, according to Fairfax Media.
Seven Group shares closed down more than 9% yesterday to $5.90.