Mining giants Andrew and Nicola Forest to pursue separate lives

Australia’s richest couple Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife Nicola – whose mining fortune is worth $32billion – announce they are separating after 31 years of marriage

Mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife of more than 31 years Nicola Forrest have officially announced they are living ‘separate’ lives, it has been reported. 

The billionaire couple, who have been married for 31 years and have a net worth of $32 billion, said they will now be living apart.

‘After 31 years of marriage, we have made the decision to live apart. Our friendship and commitment to our family remains strong,’ said the couple in a joint statement to The Australian Financial Review. 

The billionaire couple (pictured), who have been married for 31 years and have a net worth of $32 billion, said they will now be living apart

Their fortune has largely been amassed through their 36 per cent stake in iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group, which they founded in 2003. 

The revelation came after the newspaper approached the pair about a transaction last month that moved more than $1.1 billion worth of Fortescue shares into a new company called Coaxial Ventures, which is wholly owned by Mrs Forrest. 

They jointly oversee their private investment arm, Tattarang and they also co-founded, and continue to co-chair, their philanthropic venture Minderoo Foundation, which was established in 2001.

The couple insist their separation will have no impact on the the strategic direction of their mining empire or their philanthropic ventures. 

‘There is no impact on the operations, control or direction of Fortescue, Minderoo or Tattarang,’ their statement added. 

The couple have three adult children – Grace, Sophia and Sydney – and it is understood they have no plans to divorce. 

They pledged to give away the ‘vast majority’ of their fortune in their lifetimes and have previously said they will give little to their children.

In April last year, Mrs Forrest said she and Andrew would give away their fortune because they don’t want their three children, daugthers Grace and Sophia, and son Sydney to be ‘burdened’ by a handout.

‘Children don’t benefit from thinking they’re going to inherit a huge amount of money,’ she said earlier this year.

More to come.