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Andrew Forrest fighting to keep miners off his land

Yahoo!7 Finance

He may have made his fortune mining iron ore but Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest does not want any mining activity on his family land in Western Australia.

According to reports, the mining tycoon is suing to prevent uranium exploitation on his 500,000-acre ranch in Minderoo, Western Australia.

Mr Forrest is attempting to fight off exploration pressure from sand miner Yarri Mining Pty Ltd and a uranium project from Cauldron Energy, reports.

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Yarri is reportedly eyeing the potential to mine sand at Minderoo and sell it into the massive LNG projects being set up by BHP Billiton and Chevron, the Australian reports.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission reveals the only shareholder of Yarri -- whose only director is former prospector Warren Slater -- is Singapore-based Euro Resources.

Mr Forrest, who has amassed a $5.7 billion fortune supplying China’s steel mills, is now nearly two years into what looks like long-drawn-out legal proceedings over the ranch.

Minderoo was set up in 1878 by Mr Forrest’s great, great uncle Sir John Forrest and was sold off in 1998 by his father Donald due to debt and drought.

It was bought it back by Mr Forrest in 2009 for $12 million.

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Forrest is also fighting on a second legal front. Cauldron Energy Ltd., chaired by another mining entrepreneur, Tony Sage, applied for exploration licenses over some of Minderoo on April 4 for its Yanrey uranium project.

Bloomberg reports Forrest & Forrest filed objections on May 8. A hearing date hasn’t been set yet.

Fortescue is the world's fourth largest iron ore producer, located in the iron ore rich Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The company is Australia’s third-largest iron ore exporter behind Rio Tinto Group and BHP, has a tenement area of 85,000 square kilometers, according to the report.

Key to the company’s growth plans is its tenement footprint in the Pilbara, Forrest said in the company’s 2011 annual report.

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