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THE BACK FORTY PROJECT | MI

Status | In Development - Aquila Resources has been granted 4 of 4 final permits by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit against the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers.

Location | Lake Township, MI, near the Menominee River

Type of Mine | open pit and underground – gold and zinc, with copper and silver

Estimated Mine Life | 16 years

Anticipated Output |  532 thousand oz of gold, 721 million lbs of zinc, 16.1 Mt total for all minerals

Concerns |

  • The minerals lie within a sulfide ore body. When brought to the surface and exposed to air and water this waste rock could cause acid mine drainage.

  • The 84 acre pit would lie no more than 50 yards from the Menominee River. The river is the largest watershed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The mine, processing plant and waste storage will encompass 580 acres.

  • The site's landscape includes tribal burial grounds, ceremonial sites and ancient agricultural sites of the Menominee Tribe. According to Janette Brimmer, Attorney, Earthjustice: "The federal government has consultation obligations to tribes, and there's a very specific process that's laid out in law on how that's supposed to progress. That process is not what's happening with the state."

 

Projected Jobs Created |  300

Company Website | aquilaresources.com/projects/back-forty-project/

State Agency Website |  michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3313_71520_24403-405734--,00.html

Additional Information | The Menominee Nation and Earthjustice are actively monitoring this project. Links to issued permits can be found here

Notes | This summary was assembled with information from the Aquila Resources website, state agency websites and the Earthjustice website.

Photo Credit | Jeremiah Eagle Eye

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