Australia's richest person and mining billionaire Gina Rinehart (pictured) has told Australia's mining industry to cut its costs if it wants to survive.
"People overseas aren't going to buy our produce because we're Australians and we're nice people," Ms Rinehart said at the launch of her book Northern Australia and Then Some at a dinner in Sydney on Thursday.
"They're going to buy our produce if we keep our costs down."
"One of the things that I'm really concerned about is the cost competitiveness of our industry because our industry doesn't sell on the local market, it sells on the world market."
Ms Rinehart, who is chairman of iron ore mining house Hancock Prospecting and the world's richest woman, is on a two-day blitz of Australia's eastern states to launch her book, Gina Rinehart: The untold story of the richest person in Australian history.
She was joined at the launch by Ten Network chairman Lachlan Murdoch and Hungry Jacks founder, family friend and Fairfax Media board member Jack Cowin.
Ms Rinehart is also on the Ten board and holds a near-15 per cent stake in Fairfax.
Also attending the dinner at Sydney's luxury Four Seasons hotel were former Future Fund chairman David Murray and Ms Rinehart's youngest daughter Ginia, to whom the book is dedicated.
The launch date was chosen to coincide with the 60th anniversary of her late father Lang Hancock's fabled flight over the rain-soaked cliffs of Western Australia's Pilbara where he discovered the Hamersley iron ore deposits.
Ms Rinehart's 220-page, hardcover book is described in its preface as "a compendium of speeches, articles and images".
The $40 book includes articles previously published in mining journals, transcripts of television interviews and speeches by Ms Rinehart.
Advertising millionaire John Singleton was among the figures who contributed complimentary tributes to Ms Rinehart in the book.
A series of photographs show Ms Rinehart with her father in a number of situations including at her 21st birthday and on one of the family's iron ore tenements in the West Australian Pilbara.
Mr Hancock wrote his own book, Wake Up Australia, to outline his vision of the essential place of mining at the centre of the nation's economic and political future, in 1979.
After the launch, Ms Rinehart took questions from the floor and was asked by one guest why she had invested in media companies.
Ten and Fairfax have both proven to be poor share price performers.
Ms Rinehart said Mr Cowin had invited her to invest in Ten much earlier, but she could not afford it at the time.
"We've now got the opportunity to be in Fairfax, well a partial opportunity that one, and also in Ten," said the businesswoman whose bid for a seat on the Fairfax board was rebuffed.
I think it's good for people just outside the media industry, and basically I am, to know something about other industries, (and) to be on these boards," she said.
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