The Bloomberg Billionaires List says Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is worth US$15.6 billion, making him the 103rd richest person on this earth.
It should really be the 104th richest because Bloomberg owner Michael Bloomberg does not appear on the list. His wealth is generally put at around US$50 billion, give or take a bill or two.
The Bloomberg list actually understates Forrest’s wealth — it doesn’t include the A$1.1 billion in final dividends announced on Monday when Fortescue Metals, the country’s third iron ore miner, revealed record revenue and profits.
That goes with the first half dividend and makes a total payment to him of just on A$1.96 billion. In 2018-19 he was paid A$1.24 billion in dividends.
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The Bloomberg list points out that Twiggy has been one of the big movers in the year with his value rising US$6.4 billion as Fortescue’s share price surged off the back of solid production and iron ore prices reaching and staying at or near six-year highs of more than U$S100 a tonne.
That’s a rise of 70%, and Fortescue’s share price is up more than 76% year to date. The price of 62% Fe iron ore eased by just under 2% on Monday to US$125.23 a tonne, so Twiggy’s wealth could take a little dent.
In Aussie dollars, Twiggy is worth just on $20 billion — probably closer to $21 billion after the cheque hits the bank. Back in 2008 he was worth $12.7 billion.
Ahead of him is his old WA cobber Gina Rinehart, worth US$23.3 billion and slotting in at number 47 (or 48) globally, but given the rise in iron ore prices recently and the fact that her key companies are private, that’s guesswork.
Twiggles and Gina did their best work together off the back of a truck in the 2010 campaign against a mining tax. It was successful. Just look at the obscene amounts of money both are making from selling dirt to Chinese steel mills.
Now that Fortescue is a giant, no one mentions Forrest’s first mining company, Anaconda Nickel (turned into Minara Resources and now part of Glencore) that started in 1994. Minara wasn’t all that successful as a miner and processor of lateritic nickel.
Nine years later he founded Fortescue, and a fortune and it seems a social conscience ensued.