23 Nov 2012

Cut costs or perish: Rinehart

5:59 am on 23 November 2012

Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart says Australia's mining industry needs to cut its costs if it is to survive.

"People overseas aren't going to buy our produce because we're Australians and we're nice people," Ms Rinehart said 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."

AAP reports Ms Rinehart, who is chairman of Hancock Prospecting, an iron ore mining company, is on a two-day tour to launch her book Northern Australia and Then Some. She is the world's richest woman.

The 220-page book includes articles previously published in mining journals, transcripts of television interviews and speeches by Ms Rinehart.

Her late father Lang Hancock also wrote a 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 was asked by one guest why she had invested in media companies.

Ten and Fairfax have both proven to be poor share price performers.

AAP reports Ms Rinehart said she had been invited to invest in Ten much earlier, but she could not afford it at the time.

''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.