In 2007, she first appeared on Forbes Asia Australia’s 40 Richest, with an estimated wealth of US$1 billion; more than doubling that the next year to US$2.4 billion; and then, in spite of the global financial crisis, by 2011 had more than trebled to US$9 billion; and doubled again in 2012 to US$18 billion. Releasing the results in February 2011, Forbes was the first to name her as Australia’s richest person; with BRW conferring the same title in May that year.
In June 2011, Citigroup estimated that she was on course to overtake Carlos Slim, the Mexican magnate worth £46 billion (US$74 billion) and Bill Gates, who is worth £35 billion (US$56 billion), mainly because she owns her companies outright. Using a price-to-earnings ratio of 11:1 that applied at that time to her business partner, Rio Tinto, the Australian internet business news service, SmartCompany, stated: “It is possible to see Rinehart’s portfolio of coal and iron ore production spinning off annual profits approaching US$10 billion”, giving her a “personal net worth valuation of more than US$100 billion”. In January 2012, there were further media reports that Rinehart’s estimated wealth has increased to A$20 billion following estimates that the Roy Hill project was notionally valued at A$10 billion.