Gina Rinehart secures funding to operate her own iron ore mine
Hancock Prospecting signed a US$7.2 billion funding package to proceed with the Roy Hill iron ore mine in Australia’s Pilbara region.
The company, owned by Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, secured funding from an international consortium of 19 banks, including Australia’s big four lenders. Roy Hill’s chief executive, Barry Fitzgerald, said the funding package was the biggest of its kind in the world.
The Roy Hill Mine is due to start exporting iron ore next year and when it ramps up to 55 Mt/a (61 million stpy) it will be the world’s fifth-biggest producer behind Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals.
Rinehart described the project as a “crucible of opportunity during a period of global uncertainty.”
There are 2,500 people working on building the project, to rise to 3,600 later this year, with 2,000 permanent staff to be employed at the operating mine.
The move comes more than 60 years after Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, discovered the world’s largest iron ore deposit in Western Australia’s Pilbara, the Guardian reported.
“It has already shown it will create new jobs and benefit the greater mining and construction-related industries,” Rinehart said. “It will add to Australia’s exports, and significantly benefit our West Australian and national economy.”
The mine will also enable Rinehart to operate a mine in her own right, with her near $20 billion in current wealth attributable to her share of profits at the Rio Tinto-operated Hope Downs mine.