The Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting successfully took on the Roy Hill project, her biggest one yet, developing it to become Australia’s largest single iron-ore mine.
Mrs Rinehart took a huge entrepreneurial risk by investing billions of dollars of equity money in the project prior to debt finance being raised.
She has also formed significant partnerships with multinational partners from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as achieved the largest-ever financing for a mainland greenfield resource project.
At the same time, Mrs Rinehart has devoted herself to her company group responsibilities, growing it by more than 32,000% since becoming Executive Chairman in 1992.
It is through such impressive feats that she was awarded The CEO Magazine’s Chairperson of the Year award at the black-tie ceremony in Melbourne on 15 November.
Mrs Rinehart said Australia is very much an exporting nation, noting that “we’re a price taker and we have to just keep our costs down”.
“This is why I talk a lot about cutting two things … the very important two T’s: tape and taxation,” she told Sky News Business after receiving her award.
“Because people aren't going to buy because they love Australians. They're only going to buy if we can keep ourselves reliable as an exporter and if we can also keep our costs down.”
"People aren't going to buy because they love Australians. They're only going to buy if we can keep ourselves reliable as an exporter and if we can also keep our costs down."
Meanwhile, Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald established a sustainable business by bringing online a A$10 billion project predicted to earn significant export revenue for at least the next quarter-century.
From day one, the Roy Hill project has done well in terms of managing environmental impact, recruitment, contract structure and delivery, technology and communication systems, and fostering innovation.
Barry successfully consolidated Roy Hill’s processes and culture, managing the transition from project completion to fully-fledged producer with production ramp-up proceeding on-schedule and within budget.
In recognition of all these achievements and more, The CEO Magazine presented Barry with the Energy and Resources Executive of the Year Award.
“After seven years, we've got some success and recognition, and I'm sure that our team deserve it and that they'll be very happy about it,” he said after the announcement at the ceremony.
Further, Barry noted the importance of award nights like the 2017 Executive of the Year Awards and how they celebrate the best of Australian business.
"It means we can showcase the talent of Australia… really take on our place in the world in terms of becoming more competitive and being out there."
“It means we can showcase the talent of Australia and hopefully out of that we all learn something and really take on our place in the world in terms of becoming more competitive and being out there.”
As well as winning the Energy and Resources Executive of the Year prize, Barry received a highly commended honour for CEO of the Year of which he was a finalist. The winner was Michael Ebeid, CEO and Managing Director of SBS.