Gina Rinehart: richer, but poorer in the eyes of Forbes' rankings.

Gina Rinehart says Australian miners need to be mindful of lower-cost offshore competition. Photo: Bohdan Warchomij

Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart says that ''jealousy-inspiring profits'' are necessary for investment in the mining industry but she also insists that costs need to be lowered to keep the industry competitive.

''Without jealousy-inspiring profits, investments of substance do not follow,'' she said in her regular article in mining magazine Australian Resources and Investment.

Her article comes as Australia reported its strongest growth in two years on the back of an unexpected surge in mining exports.

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

But despite these fat profit margins Rinehart says local companies cannot succeed in global markets where we compete against lower-cost countries.

''We need to see costs decrease in Australia in order to remain cost-competitive if we wish to see the goose continue to lay its golden eggs,'' she says.

Rinehart is halfway through completing the multibillion dollar Roy Hill project which is expected to be capable of producing 55 million tonnes of iron ore annually when it is completed next year.

Completion of the project will fulfil the family's ambitions of owning its own mines rather than partnering with miners like Rio Tinto to build and operate the mining tenements the family owns.

Rinehart also took aim at views from outside the industry that ''once you have a tenement granted to you, all you have to do is sit back and wait as the money pours in from it.''

She says ''this is far from the reality of things''.

In the article, Rinehart details the 22 year odyssey required to get Roy Hill to where it is today, starting soon after the death of her father, Lang Hancock.

Rinehart's company Hancock Prospecting owns 70 per cent of the Roy Hill project, with the remaining 30 per cent owned by South Korean steel giant Posco, Japanese steelmaker Marubeni Corporation and Taiwan's China Steel Corporation.

The partners pumped more than $3 billion into the project ahead of $8 billion worth of funding being approved in March this year by a banking syndicate.

''We arranged this investment, without any investment bank assistance, without federal government assistance and despite the negativity of MRRT, carbon tax and city media,'' she says in the article.