Aquila Resources has received two permits for its zinc and gold rich Back Forty Project from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
The final Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining permit and Michigan Air Use Permit to Install were issued by the authority after the public feedback period concluded on 3 November 2016.
Aquila Resources CEO Barry Hildred said: “This milestone is a fitting end to a year where we made considerable progress at Back Forty that included the discovery of a new mineral zone, improvements in our metal recoveries and the strengthening of our local team.
“We would like to commend the state of Michigan for its efforts in completing the permitting process in a rigorous and transparent manner. We believe that their decision to grant final permits reflects Michigan's commitment to responsible and sustainable resource development that benefits all stakeholders.”
The submitted Mine Permit Application (MPA) included the mining plan, tailing and waster rock management, reclamation and monitoring outline. It also included the contingency plan and the outline for financial assurance.
Along with the MPA, Aquila Resources submitted a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment that incorporates more than two years of baseline studies on environmental and cultural resources.
The MPA review process and permit decisions were completed in accordance with Part 632 of Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which regulates nonferrous metallic mineral mining in Michigan State.
Currently under evaluation are a National Pollution Elimination System permit and a further one for wetland impacts, which are both necessary.
This year, Aquila Resources intends to complete the feasibility study, procure the two remaining permits and complete the necessary financing process for starting commercial production of the project.
It also plans to conduct additional exploration activities at the new mineralised zone.