Farmers' cooperative, WALGA mining look at upskilling opportunity near Cape Hardy

An agricultural and upskilling training centre is on the horizon at Cape Hardy following an agreement between the local farmer's cooperative and WALGA Mining and Services, based in Whyalla.

Founder of WALGA mining Elliott McNamara, Tim Scholz of EPCBH and general manager Karina McNamara at the Cape Hardy site on Monday. Photo: Lauren Fitzgerald.

Founder of WALGA mining Elliott McNamara, Tim Scholz of EPCBH and general manager Karina McNamara at the Cape Hardy site on Monday. Photo: Lauren Fitzgerald.

The mining and civil contractor has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Eyre Peninsula Cooperative Bulk Handling to explore collaboration on a training facility and other economic opportunities.

WALGA are an Indigenous owned company, and general manager Karina McNamara said it was important to find ways to train and upskill local and Indigenous workers.

"We do find the Port Lincoln area is a little bit removed, so it's a way of joining Whyalla to Port Lincoln and getting our footprint on the Eyre Peninsula," she said.

"With the MOU we see it as building our civil side, as well as increasing our training.

"We see the training facility as a way for us to have it in our backyard.

"We're actually creating our industry rather than having to outsource...we get to build the local skill set in the region.

"We've worked well together (with EPCBH) and have established a strong working relationship so we see this as a way of building the capabilities of both the agricultural (sector) and Indigenous people."

EPCBH chief executive officer Tim Scholz said a training facility could be situated on their 400 acre block adjacent to Iron Road's holdings.

"This is something we've been working on for three or four years, building a relationship with WALGA," he said.

Chairperson Bruce Heddle said by working with WALGA they could maximise job opportunity potential, especially for the Indigenous community.

"Increasing job and training opportunities on Eyre Peninsula is really important to us and to the community more broadly," he said.

The $250 million multi-commodity deep sea port proposal at Cape Hardy is a joint venture by Iron Road, Macquarie Capital and EPCBH, and is situated about seven kilometres south of Port Neill.

RELATED: