Iris Fonbona

Iris Fonbona

Owner of the world's largest copper deposits
Country: Chile

  1. Biography of Iris Fontbona
  2. Andronico Luksic's Business Empire
  3. Early Life and Rise to Success
  4. Continuing the Legacy

Biography of Iris Fontbona

Iris Fontbona is the owner of the world's largest copper deposits. She is the widow of Chilean billionaire Andronico Luksic, who passed away from cancer in 2005. Inheritance left Fontbona and her family with a $10 billion fortune, consisting of her late husband's assets, including Antofagasta - the largest copper deposit in the world, and Quinenco - a major beverage production and distribution company.

Andronico Luksic's Business Empire

Iris Fontbona's deceased husband, Andronico Luksic, built one of the largest business empires in Latin America. His holdings included copper mines, processing plants, banks, telecommunications companies, and a major beverage production company. While most of his enterprises were located in South America, he also owned several resorts in Croatia, the country from which his father emigrated in 1900.

Andronico Luksic claimed that his wealth was the result of a misunderstanding. In his youth, he sold his share in a copper mine to Japanese investors but forgot to specify the currency next to the price. The Japanese paid the amount, assuming it was in US dollars, although Luksic meant Chilean pesos. As a result, he received a sum for his stake in the copper mine that was ten times higher than what he had intended.

Early Life and Rise to Success

Andronico Luksic was born on November 5, 1926, in the dusty Chilean city of Antofagasta. His father owned a small shop, which provided enough money to send his son to study at the Sorbonne. However, Luksic's shyness led him to flee from the renowned university after just a few days. Upon returning to Chile, he studied law for a while but became passionate about geology and mining, eventually leading him to purchase a small copper mine.

Luksic later sold his stake in the mine to the Japanese for $500,000, which became his initial capital for further ventures. With a keen business acumen and a decent starting capital, he began acquiring copper and iron mines, as well as banking structures and food industry enterprises. Even the nationalization of industries during the regime change in Chile did not significantly affect him. With exceptional intuition, he managed to sell all his assets and convert them into cash.

Continuing the Legacy

Andronico Luksic had five children, whom he involved in the family business from a young age. For each of them, as well as his beloved wife, Iris Fontbona, he always found a role and entrusted them with various tasks. They became the direct heirs and continuers of the great and powerful business empire built by Andronico Luksic.