Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays

ASTON Resources founder Nathan Tinkler is the wealthiest Australian man under 40 with a $610 million fortune, according to BRW’s Young Rich List, while the Macarthur Coal money machine has propelled fellow Queensland entrepreneur Bill McDonald into 10th position.
Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays Qld entrepreneurs kick-started by Macarthur plays

Nathan Tinkler, courtesy Aston Resources

Blair Price

Tinkler, 34, surged to the top spot after floating Aston last month, with his stake estimated to be around $400 million.

He increased his standings in the rich list by $244 million from last year.

The former sparkie kicked off his investment career by selling his Custom Mining business, which held the Monto coal deposit, to Macarthur Coal for $247 million back in 2007.

He also cashed out of Macarthur shares for more than $400 million in 2008, selling a 10.4% stake in the metallurgical coal producer to steelmaker ArcelorMittal at $19.96 per share.

Aston’s flagship Maules Creek project in the Gunnedah Basin of New South Wales was purchased off Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied for $480 million in November 2009.

Aston shares slumped 4.4% from their $5.96 per share debut last month and are up 4c to $5.84 this morning.

McDonald, 38, made his debut in the rich list this year with an estimated fortune of $132 million.

He followed a similar vein to Tinkler, with the magazine noting he was rumoured to have made a $60 million profit after Macarthur inked a $A360 million purchase of a Bowen Basin coal deposit from mining and construction services group MCG early this month.

MCG previously entered into an unconditional agreement to buy the mining tenement from Stanwell Corporation.

At this stage the deposit is plainly called MDL 162, but a Macarthur spokeswoman told ILN the company has plans to name the project soon.

MDL 162 holds 221.7 million tonnes of resources and Macarthur aims to turn the project into an open cut mine with first production after 2014.

The mine is expected to produce both semi-hard coking coal and pulverised coal injection coal, with Macarthur hoping to ramp it up to 6 million tonnes per annum of run of mine output.

In June, mining magnate and Macarthur founder Ken Talbot died along with the five other board members of Sundance Resources when their chartered plane crashed near the Gabonese border in the Republic of Congo.

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