Aquila Resources Provides Permitting Update for Its Back Forty Project in Michigan
Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) (“Aquila” or the “Company”) announces that on January 4, 2021, an Administrative Law Judge (“Judge”) for the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules issued a decision denying the prior issuance of a wetland/stream/floodplain permit (“Wetlands Permit”) for its Back Forty Project in Michigan.
By way of background, petitioners earlier filed an administrative contested case challenge to the issuance of the Wetlands Permit by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (“EGLE”). The Wetlands Permit was issued by EGLE on June 4, 2018 following years of environmental baseline work and a thorough review process including comment periods and public hearings. The Judge convened an evidentiary hearing in June 2019, which ended in January 2020. In his January 4, 2021 decision, the Judge determined that Aquila’s groundwater model does not provide a reliable identification of wetland impacts and therefore found the permit application to be administratively incomplete. The Judge also determined that Aquila did not provide a complete assessment of potential alternatives to its proposed plan.
The Company strongly disagrees with the Judge’s decision, which is based in significant part on what the Company believes is a misunderstanding of the information concerning the potential for indirect wetlands impacts associated with the Back Forty Project. The decision establishes a permitting approach that markedly departs from wetland permits issued for other mining projects in the Great Lakes region. Aquila worked for several years with EGLE staff during the permitting process to address the complex technical issues associated with estimating potential indirect wetland impacts, landing on an approach that complied with federal U.S. Army Corps guidelines for estimating and permitting such impacts for mining projects.
The Wetlands Permit was issued with specific conditions that must be satisfied prior to the commencement of construction and operations, including a condition that required EGLE to accept an updated groundwater model. During the 31 months since the Wetlands Permit was issued, Aquila has been working constructively with EGLE to satisfy the conditions, and the Company planned to complete the updated groundwater model in 2021. The Company will continue to work with EGLE and believes it will successfully resolve the issues cited in the Judge’s decision.
|Diskussion: Back Forty Projekt - eine Zink-Gold-Story (ehemals JML Resources)|