Peter Williams
The West Australian

If a mine site in the Pilbara seems a harsh place to operate, imagine working in an Alaskan winter when the sun never rises and temperature doesn't exceed zero.

That's the home turf of NANA Development Corporation, an Alaskan native people-owned contractor that has set up shop in WA targeting resources work.

"It's just as difficult for them to understand how we operate at 50C temperatures in a mining environment," NANA Australia national operations manager Tony Connors said.

Despite the necessities of avoiding frostbite and exposure versus keeping hydrated and staying in the shade, Mr Connors sees a parallel between the two worlds.

"There's a lot of kindred spirit relationship between the two environments because they are extreme environments, just at different ends of the spectrum."

NANA is seen as role model for what indigenous companies in Australia can achieve. The $US1.8 billion ($1.76 billion) corporation has 11,000 employees and operations across the US.

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