Mining magnate Ken Talbot missing after African plane crash
Grave fears are held for the safety of wealthy Queensland mining magnate Ken Talbot after a plane he was travelling on over the Congo in West Africa was reported missing.
Talbot, who was valued at $965 million on BRW’s Rich 200 list in late May and was expected to break into the billionaire’s club in the next few years, was travelling with eight other mining executives, including representatives of Perth-based company Sundance Resources.
Talbot owns a significant stake in the iron ore miner, which is developing a mine in Cameroon.
The plane has now been missing for more than 18 hours and is reported to have lost contact with air traffic controllers 25 minutes after leaving Cameroon.
“A comprehensive air and ground search coordinated by the Cameroon military will commence at first daylight local time on Sunday,” Sundance said in a statement.
"The families of the missing have been notified and are being supported during this deeply distressing time," it said.
Talbot made the bulk of his fortune from founding coal miner Macarthur Coal, and made around $640 million when he sold out of the company in May 2008.
Since then, he has emerged as an astute stock picker, buying shares in small mining companies through his company, Talbout Group.
SmartCompany recently predicted Talbot, who is married with four children, would become a billionaire in the next few years.
In recent months, Talbot has flagged his intentions of returning to the world of mine development in Australia and overseas.
However, in recent years a dark cloud has hung over Talbot’s career.
In August he is due to face court over charges he made 35 corrupt payments to former Queensland Cabinet minister Gordon Nuttall, who was jailed last year for seven years for accepting 36 payments from Talbot and another businessman, Harold Shand.
Talbot has always denied the charges.
Sundance chairman Geoff Wedlock has been confirmed among the nine people missing.