Gina Rinehart Named ?World?s Richest Woman,? Australian Mining Tycoon Makes Over $1 Million Every 30 Minutes

Can you imagine a person who makes more than $1 million every 30 minutes? That notion is now a reality after Business Review Weekly named Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart the World's Richest Woman, surpassing Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton.

Business Review Weekly published a snippet of its annual BRW Rich 200 List, where Rinehart's fortune was revealed to be $28.48 billion.

That's $1,077,054 every 30 minutes daily, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, with the ability to purchase two iPads for each of the 22.9 million residents of Australia.

Just in March, Rinehart's fortune was estimated to be $18 billion, far under Walton's net worth of $25.3 billion. The full list of richest people will be unveiled on Thursday.

But how exactly did the 58-year-old heiress of iron ore mine Hancock Prospecting dramatically increase her net worth in just a few short months?

Andrew Heathcote, the editor for BRW's Rich 200 List, said Rinehart secured two deals in iron ore and coal in resource-rich Western Australia. Factor in the rising prices of commodities and there's the explanation for what led Rinehart's fortune to triple in just under a year.

The Aus $18.87 billion increase in her wealth is unparalleled. It is a product of foreign investment in new projects, increased production and a recovery in the iron ore price over the past six months, Heathcote said.

Heathcote went as far as saying Rinehart could end up being the world's richest person, not just the richest woman, if the demand for natural resources remains strong and the boom continues unabated. Heathcote said her fortune could rise to $100 billion, surpassing Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, who is worth $69 billion.

And it's not just her wealth growing, but scandal as well. In September, three of Rinehart's four children filed a lawsuit against their mother about a family trust worth billions from her late father, Lang Hancock, claiming Rinehart tried to financially blackmail them.

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