Andrew Forrest: on the way to being Australia’s richest man?

Andrew Forrest, founder and chief executive of Pilbara mining newcomer Fortescue Metals, has rocketed up the rankings over night to become Australia’s third richest man.

Forrest is reportedly now worth $6.2 billion after shares in Fortescue shot up 18.8% yesterday after it was revealed the company may have discovered a new billion tonne iron ore resource in Western Australia’s north-west.

Because Forrest holds 36% of Fortescue Metal shares, yesterday’s price rise meant a serious pay-day – even if it is only on paper. He is now only beaten in the wealth stakes by Jamie Packer, on $7.25 billion, and shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy on $6.51 billion.

And all this before his company has even dug up one tonne of ore from its various mining tenements. When it does, Forrest will have the number one spot in his sights.

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