Gina Rinehart ushered into miners’ Hall of Fame

Gina Rinehart has followed in her father’s footsteps.

Article courtesy of the Kalgoorlie Miner

WA billionaire Gina Rinehart was last night inducted into the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame in recognition of her contribution to the State’s resources sector.

Mrs Rinehart was installed under the category of Entrepreneurs and Promoters, for her achievements in leading the development of Hancock Prospecting’s Hope Downs and Roy Hill iron ore mines.

Her father, Lang Hancock, was also a recipient of the award. They are the only father-daughter inductees in the awards’ history.

“In addition to her corporate successes — which have directly led to the creation of thousands of jobs, as well as a material addition to the WA and Australian economies in the form of various taxes and royalties which will accrue to respective governments for many years — Mrs Rinehart is also to be commended for her often unheralded philanthropic donations and her support for numerous sporting and charitable organisations,” Hall of Fame chairman Chris Cairns said.

The recognition follows Mrs Rinehart’s receipt of the GJ Stokes Memorial Award at this year’s Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in October, the second only person and first female to win the trifecta of awards at Diggers.

Another honour for Mrs Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman, HPPL, Roy Hill, S.Kidman & Co

Congratulations to Mrs Rinehart for her induction into the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame.

Tonight Mrs Gina Rinehart was inducted into the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame at the Association of Mining & Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) annual awards dinner in Perth.

Mrs Rinehart was inducted under the category of Entrepreneurs and Promoters, in recognition of her outstanding achievements in leading Hancock Prospecting’s development of both the Hope Downs mines and Roy Hill mine. Please see her official biography here as posted on the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame website.

Since its inception in 1995, the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame has only inducted one father and daughter. Mrs Rinehart’s late father, Lang Hancock, was a past inductee and the two of them make up the only father, daughter inductees in history.

“In addition to her corporate successes – which have directly led to the creation of thousands of jobs, as well as a material addition to the WA and Australian economies in the form of various taxes and royalties which will accrue to respective governments for many years – Mrs Rinehart is also to be commended for her often unheralded philanthropic donations and her support for numerous sporting and charitable organisations,” Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame Chairman Chris Cairns said.

“Gina Rinehart is a great advocate for the Australian mining industry, and a very worthy inductee to the Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame for 2020.”

This recognition follows Mrs Rinehart’s receipt of the GJ Stokes Memorial Award at Diggers and Dealers in October, the second only person and first female to win the trifecta of awards at diggers and dealers.

Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Mr. Tad Watroba, Executive Director of Hancock Prospecting accepting on behalf of Mrs Gina Rinehart

Thank you, Mr Chairman for this comprehensive factual introduction of Mrs. Rinehart.

Honourable Minister, Honourable Bill, I haven’t seen you for a long time, all other distinguished guests and friends in mining. I’m very honoured to witness Mrs. Rinehart being introduced into the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame tonight. Regrettably, she was unable to arrive in Perth in time for this event tonight. I’m sure she would of loved to be here with us.

This 2020 COVID year challenged all of us but hopefully next year will be relatively normal.  I think the – okay I can’t resist, I have to get a shot for the politicians – COVID gave politicians such much power *gestures* and they really enjoyed it.

*Applause and Laughter*

To be fair, they did a good job.

But when I saw these emotions and our premier standing *folds arms* and the borders shut ‘we don’t want you here’, ‘don’t come here’. I was a bit worried for friends and families.

I am a very lucky man indeed, tonight, as the Chairman said we are witnessing the first father and daughter double in the hall of fame history. Back in 2001, I witnessed the reopening of the beautiful building of the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame – where the father of Mrs. Rinehart was inducted as one of the first inductees.

For that occasion, Mrs. Rinehart located and bought a small Oster single engine plane somewhere on the east coast, same as her father was using in aerial exploration in Pilbara. The Oster flew from Perth to Kalgoorlie, on its own – with the pilot of course, and then hung proudly in the mine gallery of the hall of fame.

Now it is her fabulous moment, how well deserved, as we can all agree. The Chairman said most of the main things that can be said about Mrs. Rinehart’s achievements. The only thing missing was about the person who she really is. I, as a person who was in the Hancock office already when she took over the company in 1992 might know some more than people think they know.

Obviously, I’m not going to disclose any secrets here.   She is definitely a chip off the old block; however, I think she is also quite different in a number of ways. Mrs. Rinehart from the beginning has shown enormous determination to achieve what her father wanted and more. Things which he couldn’t do in his lifetime. She – for a change, hasn’t been shy to go to the banks and borrow money to put them into the ground in searching for the big one.

As the Chairman mentioned the company was financially, modestly speaking in a very weak position. Nevertheless, she borrowed the money, spending its entirety on exploration studies, marketing, all sorts of necessary and unnecessary approvals. Hope Downs was born, and she also –by the way – sold her father’s aeroplane (which was very nice). 

We all know that Hope Downs was 50/50 JV with Rio Tinto. It wasn’t the plan in the beginning though. Mrs Rinehart and all of us were dreaming of an independent mine with a separate railway and port. We eventually received a state agreement and necessary permits to build such a project which had partners from South Africa, but that didn’t work. Then we talked with steel makers in China and later with companies in Japan that also hasn’t been successful.
Mrs. Rinehart was always travelling overseas leading the difficult negotiation with us assisting her as much as we could. The timeline for Hope Downs development proposal was rapidly approaching – and some people wanted us to actually loose the entitlement to Hope Downs.

She turned to her father’s old friends, Rio Tinto, and we made a deal in two weeks. It was probably the most intensive time for her and for the whole team. Some night’s Mrs. Rinehart slept on the couch in her office – I snoozed on the floor in my office (the carpet was really soft) for a few hours and then we were back in the boardroom. We had one team. Rio Tinto had team A for day shift, team B for afternoon shift and occasionally they had C team for nights. It was really hard.

Nevertheless, we finished our last negotiation in the last hours of the evening, got the development proposal printed and we took it to the minister just within time.  The proposal copies were still warm, I remember – I was holding them and they were still warm from the printer. And we all celebrated with a very late dinner as per Gina’s request after that. Mind you it was the last day and the third extension of the state agreement. That was the last time we had a chance.
Mrs. Rinehart isn’t shy of celebrating special achievements, however, when she moved to the office after her father’s passing one Friday after 6pm, walking around the office she discovered that our geological technical team had our tradition of Friday drinks. We all bought a couple of beers or wine and enjoyed quietly. She didn’t say anything – she just called the MD to her office and after a couple of minutes he came back with a red face and he closed out the tradition permanently. We thought it was unfair but in hindsight it was a good move. Although in the early 90’s it was a very pioneering move especially in West Perth.

She is a demanding boss with a vision and eagle focus. There was some well-known industry experienced man who she invited to help her to run the company, but he didn’t last. There were various rumours circulating around, but the real reason genuinely for their departure was that they thought they knew better, even if they didn’t. A classic attitude – what woman would know how to run an exploration and development mining company. History has proven them wrong. We are a private company so we don’t have company shares to reward employees with.  In the initial years, practically until Hope Downs started generating an income and iron ore price and royalties started to rise, mainly from Rio Tinto, our salaries were quite average, with an occasional bonus, also modest. There simply wasn’t much money after exploration and studies to be shared around.

Things much improved after Hope Downs started. She also had faith in people working in the company. As an anecdote I’ll share Hope Downs financing process. We needed fifty percent of the development capital to be project financed. From memory it was 750-800 million AUS dollars. Those days it was a huge amount of money for us, a small company with negligible cash reserves.

We invited a number of financial advisors to do a beauty parade in our office to show what they could do for us for tens of millions of dollars in fees of course.  After up to 4-5 presentations, Mrs Rinehart looked at us in the boardroom and said, “boys, you know more about this than those jokers (or something similar), let’s do it ourselves.” We of course didn’t believe we could do it but if the boss wanted, we had to do it and we did.

After Hope Downs, there was a turn for Roy Hill, this is a story of real determination. Back in 1992 the opinion was BHP had dropped the tenements. They didn’t want to prospect as they thought it was a waste of money. This view was held, not just from outside, but from within also, our own geological team and I, who all had a vague idea of what iron ore was!. How wrong we all were, the boss was right as always!

Roy Hill is now a star in the Hancock crown.  To be fair to BHP they drilled in the wrong places and commented on historic drilling. When we started exploring the area initially after 1993, we did very limited work and we started to discover the good quality ore. The real work started after 2005 after Hope Downs was built. To bring the project to fruition there wasn’t an easy way, we have to mention that various state governments weren’t openly supportive of Mrs Rinehart and her project. Firstly, Port capacity, for Hope Downs we had 2 births at Harrow Point after dealing with Rio and the ore went to dump there and we thought we could keep these berths for Roy Hill. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case another company got it. We promised we’d get 2 births with 50mt capacity in the South West Creek requiring an enormous amount of dredging.

We thought great pity, but life goes on, unfortunately there was a change of heart and we were told we would get 1 berth. That would have made the project uneconomic, it took a lot of effort to get that decision reversed. The only nerve wrecking experience was with the railway from the mine to Port Hedland. The only optimal route was through third party tenements in areas where there was no economic ore.  The Government representatives promised they would help but nothing came out of it. Eventually we had to spend an unnecessary 400 million extra to get around challenging hill terrain. And again, none of us thought it was possible, but our Chairman thought otherwise. With her determination we did it.

With the finances for Roy Hill at least 10 times bigger than Hope Downs we followed the previous model without the leading financial advisor very successfully. And of course, we were rewarded as handsomely with a big party after signing the finance deal. This is Gina Rinehart even today she’s still very determined to chase new goals / new projects; she’s still demanding but at the same time supportive of the team and generous. Don’t believe what a few disgruntled ones might say at times. I’ve been with the company nearly 30 years now and with her almost 29. Would I stay with her that long if she wasn’t an inspirational one?

I could stay talking for hours to reminisce about those times but now is time to have a drink for her good health.
Thank you very much again for inducting Mrs Rinehart.



Article courtesy of Australian Mining




Roy Hill built the wet high intensity magnet separator (WHIMS) plant in 2018 to deliver another four to five million tonnes of highgrade iron ore from the mine, increasing its export capacity to around 60 million tonnes.

By filtering tailings through a series of electromagnets that extract the iron particles, Roy Hill is able to recover iron from the waste and place it onto the stockpiles for production.

Roy Hill achieved first ore from the plant in December last year and commenced production during January, hitting a production milestone of one million tonnes by May.

The Australian Mining Prospect Awards judges were most impressed by Roy Hill’s clear demonstration of using smart innovation to process minerals in a more efficient and sustainable way.

“Of particular emphasis in the nomination was Roy Hill’s commitment to ‘challenge, adapt and modify our approach to create new ways of working’,” judge and Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy chief executive officer Stephen Durkin says.

“(This) positive attitude reflects excellence not only in Roy Hill’s operation but should provide inspiration for all companies and professionals in the sector.” In addition to boosting production at the Pilbara mine, the Roy Hill WHIMS also has significant environmental benefits, decreasing the amount of waste sent to the tailings pile by up to five million tonnes per annum.

Durkin also describes Roy Hill as a leader in the space of decreasing wastage with a WHIMS plant.

“Roy Hill’s thought leadership in recovering ultrafine iron ore through its WHIMS plant has also positively influenced the broader sector, with other companies now investigating how to adopt the process in their own operations,” he says.

“This provides a clear example of one company’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability driving better outcomes for the rest of the industry and community.” Roy Hill turned this piece of innovative equipment into something deeply personal to the company, painting the WHIMS plant pink to honour Roy Hill executive chairman Gina Rinehart’s long-term commitment to breast cancer research.

Through the Rinehart Medical Foundation, Roy Hill has supported a two-year program worth $500,000 to support cancer patients.

Although about 200 people in the Pilbara are required to travel the 1600-kilometre trip to Perth for treatment, this was the first outreach program specifically set up for Pilbara patients.

CDE Mining, sponsor of the Australian Mining Prospect Awards Minerals Processing of the Year award, values excellence in innovation and sustainability in the mining industry such as the Roy Hill WHIMS plant.

The company states that it is proud of the talent showcased in the Minerals Processing of the Year category in 2020, with each finalist bringing innovative talent to the global minerals processing community.

“The Prospect Awards highlight the value of mining and minerals projects that contribute to the local economy every day without compromising on safety and environmental protection,” CDE Mining states.

“We’re delighted to sponsor the prestigious awards’ Minerals Processing of the Year category in 2020.” Roy Hill edged out fellow finalists Weir Minerals, presenting Tronox with a total asset management (TAM) agreement and the OceanaGold Haile gold mine in South Carolina, the United States.

Weir Minerals presented Tronox with the TAM agreement to increase production, which helped it to reduce downtime by 75 per cent and shut intervals by 33 per cent, while saving 10 per cent on maintenance costs.

OceanaGold launched three projects across its minerals processing operations at Haile: the CIL Advanced Control Expert (ACE) and Destruct ACE for continuous reagent monitoring, Carbon Scout management readings and Derrick’s G-Vault screens to reduce operational risks.

Reflections on a lifetime in the mining sector | Why does Australia need mining?

Reflection on a Lifetime in the Mining sector

Reflections on a lifetime in the mining sector

Ron Manners AO

I often remind people that the industry of mining exploration and production is the most creative industry in the world.  We often forget this.  It is true because you start by going out-back where there is nothing.

The terrain is harsh and even the trees do not grow in areas like Laverton or the back of Newman.  However, despite this, the mining industry combines human ingenuity, capital, and science to gather the necessary information and knowledge before taking a risk and drilling a hole.

Then, the odds are about one chance in 10,000 that you might strike something of interest.  Consequently, it is high risk, and this is also often forgotten.  When the bureaucrats, sitting behind their desks, look at mining studies they calculate that the value of the tenements increases with more expenditure. Now, this is true if it is a building project, a block of apartments, or an office block, but with mining – it is the opposite.  Often, the more you spend, the more worthless it becomes, as you often find nothing.

Try and explain that to a bureaucrat – they do not get it.  Try and explain to a bureaucrat that if they lowered the rate of tax they will collect more tax.  How could that be?  However, it works.  Countries that lower their tax, raise more tax, and there are many examples of this.

The other thing I will mention today is that there are two different sets of decision making.

One set is the “business type of decision” making.  The mining industry, particularly in Western Australia, is a classic example.  If there is a risk and problems occur, such as the Coronavirus crisis, what is the first thing on your mind?  It is to maintain your cash flow.  That is the key to it all.

The “political type of decision”, on the other hand, is to absolutely ignore the importance of cash flow and make everyone feel good by paying them to do nothing.  Honestly, there is no future in paying anyone to do nothing (even if you dress it up with fancy names like “JobKeeper” and “JobSeeker”). It is demeaning, it robs people of dignity, and it plugs them into something they find difficult to get off because they get so darned comfortable with it.

I can speak with experience of other examples of where it does not work to pay people to do nothing.  In 1988 I visited Scotland, the old shipbuilding areas, and the land of my ancestors, where I found that the youth unemployment rate in that area was 38 percent.  An appalling rate.  I asked if it had been this rate for very long?  They advised, “for about 50 years”.  That is when the shipbuilding industry disappeared out of Scotland.

Then I asked what they were all waiting for?  The answer was, with a straight face, “we are waiting for the shipbuilding industry to come back.”

Now, all those young people were still on government funding to make them feel better and yet the shipbuilding industry was not coming back as it went to Korea! (There were many reasons for it going to Korea and not going back to Scotland.)

So, this is a classic example of how the comfort-stuff of giving people something to do nothing just becomes permanent.

Thank you, Tiggy, for reminding us of the importance of cash flow.  Now, if we had not been mindful to get the cash flow right, particularly in Western Australia, could you imagine the accounts figures for Australia?

Could you imagine our national accounts if you deducted the input from the resources industry?  We would be just another third-world country without the input from resources.

Thanks very much for creating the opportunity to just pause in our daily work, to celebrate what a wonderful industry mining is.

Thank you all for being here and thank you for being part of the productive sector.

Reflection on a Lifetime in the Mining sector

Why does Australia need mining?

Tiggy Rogers
Principal Study, Roy Hill

Today we are here celebrating National Mining and Related Industries day, a concept born eight years ago, founded by our Executive Chairman and a Mannkal supporter, Mrs Gina Rinehart.  This year, given COVID-19 restrictions, we have instigated these “Mates for Mining” morning teas, where groups/companies can come together to celebrate the contribution of the mining industry and importantly the other industries it supports to the nation, particularly during this very challenging time.

I wanted to give my thanks to Mrs Rinehart who has kept her exploration tenements and mines open during the pandemic to the men and women working in the mines or running the drill rigs who have spent months away from their families and loved ones to keep the mines going and to keep the nation going.  This has been an enormous sacrifice by them, and it was an important sacrifice given the importance of mining to the Australian economy.

Recently, I have had an opportunity to look through some research work Roy Hill has undertaken in collaboration with the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). The research quantifies the importance of the mining industry and the impact that all types of government tape is having on the industry.

To summarise the key points raised by the IPA research, mining:

  • drives employment (the mining sector has had the largest employment growth in Australia which in turn has helped us weather two crises: COVID-19 and GFC);
  • provides a substantial number of jobs in regional towns;
  • is Australia’s largest export industry improving our trade balance;
  • accounts for 30 percent of investment; and
  • generates significant government revenue (in 2017 $185-billion dollars of royalties and taxes were paid – approximately 2.3 times the total of federal and state governments’ education budgets).

The IPA report succinctly reveals the economic and social chasms which rely on the mining sector.

However, the Pilbara mining companies have mined their best deposits.  The deposits that are left to develop are more marginal than the deposits of the past either because they are in difficult terrain, declining ore grades and increasing impurities, isolated from infrastructure, or are not as large.  These deposits are more sensitive to costs than the deposits of the past and mining companies will not approve them to be developed if they become too costly.  Further, as discussed by our Chairman, other countries are looking at their own low-cost iron ore projects or improving the competitiveness of their current iron projects.  Given these two competing factors – Australia’s future as a leading miner is not guaranteed.

Luckily, within the sector lie engineers and project developers, innovative and agile professionals who must adapt to geographical constraints and to orebodies. These professionals have no control over the location or composition of reserves –all they can do is provide creative solutions.  I have found engineers are excellent at this. Some examples include:

  • South African engineers halving the cost to lay railway track.
  • Australian processing engineers developing highly mobile wet processing plants to replace fixed ones. Such plants greatly reduce earthworks requirements.
  • Queensland engineers mobilising conveyor designers.
  • Metallurgists assessing new, higher yielding processing technologies.
  • Improvements in the cost of solar farms to the point they are now cost competitive with other power solutions. This may solve the existing limited access to power lines and gas pipelines in the Pilbara.
  • Engineers, geologists, metallurgists and the entrepreneurs who fund them are taking risks to innovate and help get the deposits out of the ground. The viability of new projects is improving as a result.

This bold risk taking and innovation is being met head on by regulatory barriers. At times it feels as if we are in a leaky boat where engineers are feverishly pumping the water out, only to see regulators pumping the water back in.

A recent productivity commission report on regulation in the mining industry echoes this sentiment.  The report cites evidence regulatory processes are too complex, often duplicative, filled with uncertainty and lengthy delays. Concerningly, the report notes these barriers may be worsening. The commission found sufficient qualitative evidence of unnecessary costs within the regulatory process. From my own experience I can attest that these are sentiments are very real.  Regulation is making mining in Australia more and more expensive in a situation where Australia is at risk of losing its competitive edge as global miner.

The IPA, today’s initiative, National Mining and Related Industries Day and the ongoing dedicated work driven by our Executive Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart set out the critical need for mining in our economy.  But as discussed these are not given by any stretch of the imagination.  Our entrepreneurs, engineers and geologists are doing their bit in terms of creative solutions. We really need the government to come to the table, as these projects won’t get built and we won’t have as many jobs in five years’ time.

National Mining and Related Industries Day: Cut the Red and Green Tape



Article courtesy of ABN Newswire

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Australia’s richest woman has warned the nation’s vital resources and agriculture industries are being strangled by red and green tape, threatening the future viability of both.

In a pre-recorded speech to commemorate National Mining Day today, Gina Rinehart emphasised the sector’s contribution to the economy, especially during the upheaval caused by coronavirus.

“Now is the time to remind all those we can that our industry is necessary to maintain the living standards of Australians,” Ms Rinehart said. “Its revenue is necessary to help fund our defence force and police, our hospitals and kindies, to help our elderly . . . and provide funds for crises.” That followed an address yesterday in Queensland on National Agriculture Day, in which Ms Rinehart highlighted that government regulation hampered the ability of farmers to deal with feral animals, bushfires and droughts.

“We all know Asia is the largest growing market for Australia, and often hear that Asian demand for agricultural products is projected to show sustained growth towards the year 2050, providing opportunities for Australian exporters of high quality, clean, agriculture products,” she said.

“But what isn’t so clearly said is that we mustn’t lose this opportunity due to our government holding us back through endless red, green and other tape that isn’t levied on our international competitors, and which drives up the cost of our production and our products.” Ms Rinehart yesterday launched a “Change for Agriculture” website dedicated to gathering examples of “problematic government tape or tax burdens” from those on the frontline, which will be collated into a submission paper.

Ms Rinehart, who has long helmed an iron ore empire and is steadily expanding into beef production, said State and Federal governments did not appreciate “their (red) tape and tax do nothing to encourage investment”.

“Our best protection for our industry is the ability to be flexible, not constrained by tape, and to keep our costs down so we can be internationally cost competitive, despite natural challenges like reducing ore grades and increasing impurities,” she said.

She said “lower cost countries” developing higher grade mineral deposits enjoyed a big competitive advantage over Australian miners, threatening export volumes.

Referencing the short-lived Mineral Resource Rent Tax and carbon tax, Ms Rinehart said governments were too focused on extracting money from primary industries, which hampered job-creating expansion plans.

“Too many in government don’t even recognise that profits are needed so we can reinvest,” she said.

Ms Rinehart also took aim at government “over spending” which she said had contributed to spiralling debt “leaving huge interest and debt for the young ones” and “making it harder to reduce our taxes to any real degree”.

About National Mining Day

November the 22nd signifies National Mining and Related Industries Day, an important annual day that is a time to reflect, consider, appreciate & champion the mining community and the myriad of benefits to all Australians that result.