The bitter legal dispute between Gina Rinehart and three of her children over the family's multibillion-dollar trust will continue into next year.
In the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday Justice Paul Brereton adjourned the matter to March for pre-trial directions. A hearing date is likely to be set for about six months after that.
Justice Brereton also awarded John Hancock, Bianca Rinehart and Hope Rinehart Welker 80 per cent of legal costs incurred from the last pre-trial stoush heard in September.
Mrs Rinehart had attempted to have the lawsuit summarily dismissed on the grounds it was "hopeless". That application was rejected.
But the costs will not be payable until all legal proceedings are finalised, meaning the plaintiff children will have to find other ways to fund their litigation.
The court heard the children are prosecuting a claim in arbitration proceedings in Western Australia to access money they say they are entitled to under an agreement signed in 2006.
Under the Hope Downs Deed, Mrs Rinehart's four children were to start receiving quarterly dividends from the Hope Downs iron ore mine in the Pilbara from January this year. So far, the mining magnate has refused to release the cash.
Meanwhile, a judge in Western Australia is yet to announce if a journalist at The West Australian, Steve Pennells, will be forced to reveal his confidential sources for a series of articles he wrote about the Rinehart family.
Pennells and the newspaper have resisted the subpoena, arguing that journalists are ethically bound to protect the confidentiality of their sources.