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MELBOURNE, Nov 26 AAP

November 26 2012, 6:27PM

Gina Rinehart might be the richest woman in the world but she says her personal journey has not always been easy.

The 58-year-old - Australia's richest person, with a mining fortune worth nearly $30 billion - said in a television interview that her life had been constantly marked by difficult situations that she had to cope with.

"For instance when I lost my parents, my husband ... I had young children, the company was in terrible trouble and all you can do is cope," Ms Rinehart told the Ten Network.

Ms Rinehart holds a stake of about 10 per cent in the network and is a director.

She rarely grants interviews despite being written about on an almost daily basis, and on Monday described media cartoons of her as sometimes very clever.

Ms Rinehart launched a book last week, Northern Australia and Then Some, as a tribute to her late father Lang Hancock and manifesto for their shared vision for Australia.

The book contains pictures of her youngest child Ginia, who accompanied her on the book tour and who Ms Rinehart told Ten had given her permission to use.

She is estranged from her three old children who have sued her seeking to have their ousted as trustee of the multi-million-dollar family trust.

Despite preferring to lead a more private existence, she said she was speaking out as the book was launched because she was concerned about Australia.

"What we really have to focus on is ways to create revenue, ways to earn income and think of that focus before we just think how to spend," she said, also calling in her book for cuts to tax and red tape she says prevents investment in Australia's north.

Ms Rinehart is hoping to complete her landmark $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara by 2014-15.