Step Aside Christy Walton—This Australian Mining Tycoon Is The World’s New Richest Woman

Gina Rinehart

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Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart has surpassed Walmart heiress Christy Walton to become the world’s wealthiest woman, Australian finance magazine BRW has declared.Rinehart’s net worth has ballooned in the past year, jumping by some $18 billion to $26.8 billion thanks to a major resources boom.

Walton, meanwhile, is worth an estimated $26.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Rinehart inherited Hancock Prospecting, a massive Australian mining company from her father. She has famously rocky relationships with her kids and her stepmother, and recently proposed a plan to split Australia in half to shield it from the downturns in Europe and the U.S.

A recent report from Citigroup said Rinehart was on track to become the richest person in the world within years. At this rate it looks like she’s on track to take over Carlos Slim Helu’s title in no time at all.

Now read about the tumultuous life of Gina Rinehart >