Mining heiress Gina Rinehart, who famously asked Aussies in her outback mines to compete with African workers earning $2 a day, has just topped this year’s AFR Rich List, with her net worth more than doubling to $28.89 billion.

After this shocker of a year, in which almost a million Aussies lost their jobs and many, many more are being hit hard as the coronavirus pandemic shits all over the economy, a hearty congratulations is in order for Gina, who managed to buck the trend as we all suffered.

Her current personal worth is a 108% increase over her last year’s figure, which was estimated to be a paltry $13.81 billion.

How on Earth does she do it? That’s a secret she’ll never tell, but let’s have a look at what Ms Gina Rinehart has been up to over the past 12 months, shall we?

Turns out, she doesn’t appear to have done much, actually.

Earlier in October she won some enormous award for her “exceptional lifetime contribution to the mining industry”, but other than that and briefly beefing with Celeste Barber during the bushfire crisis, she hasn’t really stuck her neck out of her mansion(s).

Oh… except for when she literally told her workers to drink hot water and consume ginger and garlic in order to ward off the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 does not like heat so twice daily please boil some water, serve hot with fresh lemon pieces or juice and honey to taste (add whisky if you wish at night),” she wrote in the letter which is completely at odds with medical information.

Thanks for that, Gina.

Keep in mind, this isn’t even her final form. Back in 2012, Rinehart was worth a whopping $29 billion, making her the world’s richest woman, ahead of a member of the Walmart clan in the US.

In second place on the AFR Rich List is Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, another mining billionaire who has made a name for himself peddling paternalistic schemes for Aboriginal people in remote communities.

Rounding out the top five is paper manufacturing bigwig¬†Andrew Pratt (plus his fam), real estate tycoon Hui Wing Mau (who’s also one of the richest men in China), and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Some other “fun” facts from the roundup: Tassie got its first billionaire this year in mining services magnate Dale Elphinstone, Australia now has a record 104 billionaires, 30 of whom are women, and the average age of Aussie billionaires is 66 years old. Cool!

Cool, cool, cool!

Image: Getty Images / Matt King