Australia is riding on the miner's back: Rinehart

Don't view us miners as giant ATMs, warned Gina Rinehart at the Australian Mines and Metals Association conference in Melbourne on Friday.

The world's richest woman spoke to the conference via a pre-recorded video, wagging a finger at the country's debt levels.

"Miners and other resources industries aren't just ATMs for everyone else to draw from without first that money having been earned and giant investments made," said Rinehart.

She called back to Australia's past resource boom.

"We used to be called the Lucky Country when we rode on the sheep's back but now the country is riding on the back of the miners and the related industries. The industry needs to keep repeating this, and standing up for itself.

"It needs to keep reminding fellow Australians that without mining and its related industries this country has no hope of repaying our record debt without facing the problems that Greece and other countries with over-spending and consequent debt traumas.

"Let's not be too proud to admit that we are really just a large island with a small population with record debt."

Earlier this month Rinehart won a royalty dispute with Rio Tinto.