Mining magnates: the ten richest tycoons in metals and mining

Ten of the world’s top one hundred richest billionaires derive their wealth from mining and metals interests. Mining-technology.com profiles the ten richest mining tycoons based on Forbes calculations of net worth as of the end of July 2014.


Alpha coal project

Gina Rinehart, Australia

Australia's Gina Rinehart, the chairman and director of Hancock Prospecting group, had a net worth of $18.6bn in July 2014, making her the world's richest mining magnate and the sixth richest woman billionaire. The 60-year-old businesswoman, ranking 44th in the world's richest list, is also the richest billionaire in Australia.

Gina Rinehart inherited Hancock Prospecting from her father Lang Hancock who died in 1992. Hancock Prospecting holds significant equity stakes in the Hope Downs iron ore mine and the Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara region of Australia. The company, through its subsidiary Hancock Coal, is also developing two major coal mining projects namely Alpha and Kevin's Corner, in Queensland's Galilee Basin, in partnership with India's GVK business group.

Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov, Russia

Russia's Alisher Usmanov, the founder and 60% share holder of the diversified international company USM Holdings, which also wholly owns the Russian mining and metallurgy company Metalloinvest, has a net worth of $18.5bn. The 60-year-old Uzbek-born business magnate is currently the richest man in Russia.

Metalloinvest accounted for about 37% of iron ore concentrate and sintering ore, 57% of iron ore pellets, 100% of hot briquetted iron (HBI) and about 7% of crude steel produced in Russia in 2013. Apart from his stake in Metalloinvest, Alisher Usmanov also holds significant interests in Megaphone, Russia's second biggest mobile phone operator, Kommersant, Russia's largest business daily, as well as in the British soccer team Arsenal.

Viktor Vekselberg

Viktor Vekselberg, Russia

The Ukraine-born Russian business magnate Viktor Vekselberg was the chairman of the world's biggest aluminium producer UC Rusal from 2007 to 2012, in which he still owns stake through Sual Partners and the Renova Group, had a net worth of $16.9bn as of 31 July 2014.

Vekselberg started the holding company SUAL in the 1990s, which was merged with Rusal and Glencore's aluminium assets in 2007 to form UC Rusal. Sual Partners currently hold 15.8% stake in UC Rusal, whereas Renova Group, for which Viktor Vekselberg is the current chairman, holds 5.66%.

German Larrea Mota Velasco & Family, Mexico

German Larrea Mota Velasco, the chairman of Mexico's biggest mining corporation Grupo México in which he along with his family holds over 50% stake, had estimated net worth of $16.4bn making him the fourth richest mining billionaire in the world.

Grupo México's mining division is comprised of Southern Copper Corporation, which operates in Mexico and Peru, and the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO), which operates in the US.

Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Mittal, United Kingdom

The India-born UK industrialist Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of the world's biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal in which he, along with his wife Usha Mittal, holds 39.39% stake, had net worth of $16.3bn by the end of July 2014.

ArcelorMittal has iron ore mining operations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Liberia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Algeria and Kazakhstan, and metallurgical coal mining operations in the US, Kazakhstan and Russia. The company produced 70.1 million tonnes of iron ore and 8.8 million tonnes of coking coal in 2013.

Vladimir Lisin

Vladimir Lisin, Russia

Vladimir Lisin, the chairman and the majority stakeholder of Novolipetsk (NLMK Group), one of the biggest steel companies in Russia, had an estimated net worth of $15bn by the end of July 2014.

NLMK Group is a vertically integrated steel producing company that procures raw materials from its own mining operations in Russia. As well as a shareholder in the NLMK Group, Lisin holds significant stakes in a transportation holding company called Universal Cargo Logistics Holding.

Vladimir Potanin

Vladimir Potanin, Russia

Russia's Vladimir Potanin, currently the chairman of the management board of Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer and a leading platinum and copper producing company, had a net worth of $14.8bn by the end of July 2014.

Norilsk Nickel's mining and metallurgical processing operations are spread across five countries including Russia, Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa. Potanin holds a 30.3% stake in Norilsk Nickel through his investment vehicle Interros.

Iris Fontbona

Iris Fontbona & Family, Chile

Chile's Iris Fontbona & family, control the Luksic Group and hold major interests in a number of mining companies including the UK-listed copper mining major Antofagasta. She had a net worth of $14.5bn by the end of July 2014. The 71-year old widower Iris Fontbona inherited Luksic Group from her husband and the founder of the company Andronico Luksic who died in 2005.

Luksic Group's controlling stake in Antofagasta is the biggest holding of the group. Antofagasta, with Los Pelambres, Esperanza, El Tesoro and Michilla mining operations, produces copper with gold, molybdenum and silver as by-products. Luksic Group, through its subsidiary Quiñenco, also holds 64.3% interest in Chilean copper and aluminium products maker Madeco, apart from stakes in certain banking, energy, transportation and port services companies in Chile.

Alberto Bailleres Gonzalez & Family, Mexico

Alberto Bailleres Gonzalez, the chairman of the boards of Grupo BAL that owns significant holdings in mining and refining companies Fresnillo and Industrias Penoles in addition to maintaining holdings in some insurance, retail, brokerage and health care companies, had a net worth of $12.4bn combined with his family by the end of July 2014.

Industrias Penoles is a Mexican mining conglomerate specialising in the extraction, smelting and refining of non-ferrous precious metals including silver, gold, copper, zinc, tungsten and lead, as well as chemicals production. Penoles directly operates six underground mines in Mexico and is the biggest producer of refined silver, whereas its subsidiary Fresnillo operates three underground and three open-pit gold and silver mines in the country, including Fresnillo, one of the ten biggest silver mines in the world.

Rinat Akhmetov

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine

At a net worth of $12.2bn, Rinat Akhmetov, the owner of the Ukraine's biggest diversified business group System Capital Management (SCM) maintains a 71.25% holding in Metinvest - one of the biggest mining and steel business in Europe, ranks as the tenth richest billionaire involved in metals and mining business.

The SCM Group, founded by Rinat Akhmetov in 2000, currently holds assets in diversified businesses including metals and mining, power generation, banking and insurance, telecommunications, media and real estate. Metinvest, the group's biggest company, is also Ukraine's biggest private business controlling 50% of the iron ore market, 46% of the baking coal market and 40% of the metal products market in the country.

NRI Energy Technology