Local mining contractors WALGA Mining and Services will play a key role in the Iron Road Cape Hardy deep-sea port project, providing a boost for the small but dedicated company.
The father and daughter team of WALGA General Manager Karina McNamara and Executive Director Elliott McNamara met with Iron Road Principal Adviser Business Development - Port Operations Tim Scholz on Friday.
Mr Scholz said Iron Road were looking to work very closely with WALGA during the development of the Cape Hardy Port.
"The three key players to get the Cape Hardy project up have been Iron Road, the Eyre Peninsula Co-Operative Bulk Handling (EPCBH), and WALGA," he said.
"Iron Road has been working with the Barngarla people and secured an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) back in 2015, and Elliott (McNamara) and myself go back to very early days in Minnipa and Wudinna - that's our home patch.
"We're exploring every opportunity to develop the relationship and that includes business opportunities. We think there's mutual benefit to a working relationship."
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick, who helped Iron Road secure $25m in federal funding for the Port project last year, having visited the company's Iron Knob operations earlier in the day.
"We've been discussing what sort of things in terms of infrastructure or support would help both them and Whyalla generally," he said.
WALGA Mining was formed in 2008 with six employees undertaking ancillary crushing and screening of iron ore at the South Middleback Ranges Mine.
Now WALGA employs 69 Whyalla people with 23 per cent of them being indigenous.
"Being an indigenous company that's something that's very close to our heart," Ms McNamara said.