Australia's richest man, valued at $9 billion, is a mining entrepreneur. The remarkable thing is that his mining activities have pulled absolutely nothing so far from the ground :
West Australian mining entrepreneur Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest yesterday emerged as the richest man in Australia by a clear margin, having seen the shares in his recently restructured Fortescue Metals Group jump 17 per cent or $1.27 a share to $8.47 after reaching as high as $8.75.If Coca Cola can make hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia selling us our own spring water at prices more expensive than petrol, then why shouldn't a super-smart ex-jackeroo turn a few billion mining nothing?
He owns 1.023 billion shares in the company, which - as its critics like to point out - is yet to ship a tonne of iron ore.
The price jump puts his personal worth at about $8.66 billion. His nearest rivals in Australia are gambling and media tycoon James Packer, whose wealth was estimated mid-year by the BRW Rich List at $7.25 billion, and shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy.
Jars of air for sale! Genuine air! Fresh, fresh air! Anyone?