Lang Hancock established the iron ore industry in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and cemented his place in our nation’s history. Today, his only child, Gina Rinehart, is carrying on his legacy.

Story by John Dunn and Photos by Richard Woldendorp

An Auster aircraft painted distinctively in white and yellow with the name ‘Hope’ written in black just below the cockpit is suspended from the ceiling of the Business of Mining Gallery at the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame in Kalgoorlie, WA. This small, single-engine plane occupies such a significant place because it is a tribute to Lang Hancock, the pioneering work he did for the iron ore industry in Western Australia and for the immense ramifications it has had on the economy of Australia as a whole.
Lang Hancock was known as the ‘flying prospector’ because of his aerial sweeps through the Pilbara district in search of the ore he was sure was there. His flights were made in an Auster exactly the same as the one that his daughter Gina Rinehart donated to the Hall of Fame. It is here that the story of his famous journey is told.

This story excerpt is from Issue #48

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2006