Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart has raked in a billion-dollar bounty from her Hope Downs iron ore mining joint venture with Rio Tinto.
Financial statements released this week for the Hope Downs' iron ore sales and marketing company reveal that Rio and Mrs Rinehart enjoyed revenue totalling more than $4.3 billion in a bumper 2011.
Based on estimates of Rio Tinto's margins, Mrs Rinehart could have enjoyed profits of more than $1 billion on Hope Downs last calendar year.
The earnings could exceed $1.5 billion before taking into account interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
The accounts give an insight into the massive amounts of cash being generated by iron ore sales from the Hope Downs mine, but they do not shed any light on the expenses of the Hope Downs joint venture or Hancock Prospecting's interest costs on borrowings for its share of developing the mine.
Released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the financial statements would be eagerly awaited by the three of Mrs Rinehart's children battling her in a Sydney court over control of a family trust that contains almost a quarter of the family's wealth.Court documents released earlier this year contain complaints made by her estranged children that details of the financial state of the trust were not made available to them. Those details are understood to include the profit share from the Hope Downs mine.
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