Two of Australia’s most well-recognised mining moguls have won a $200m lawsuit against industry leader Rio Tinto.
The companies owned by Gina Rinehart and Angela Bennett, and Bennett’s brother Micheal Wright, won their case over ore royalties in Western Australia, Mining Australia reported.
The Supreme Court ruled Rio had no right to the royalties made from the mining of iron ore beneath the Pilbara.
The Rinehart and Wright families argued that Rio owed them royalties from more than 20 years ago according to an agreement made by Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, and Peter Wright in 1970.
After the 10 day court hearing, the court found Rio subsidiary Mount Bruce Mining was liable to pay the Hancock and Wright families royalties stemming from the 1970 Agreement in respect to ore mined in Eastern Range and Channar.
The 150 sq km area in question has yielded substantial profit since 1970, with Hancock responsible for the initial discovery of the vast iron resource.
Rio had agreed to pay $200 million as an estimated sum if found liable.
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