Aquila Resources Provides Update on Its Back Forty Project
Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) (“Aquila” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on its Back Forty Project in Michigan.
Optimized Feasibility Study
In March 2021, Aquila engaged Osisko Technical Services (“OTS”) to lead an optimized feasibility study (the “Feasibility Study”) for the Back Forty Project. Aquila is leveraging OTS’ combined engineering, permitting, construction and operating expertise to unlock value and advance the Back Forty Project through its next phase of development.
A key objective of the optimized Feasibility Study is to reflect feedback from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (“EGLE”) and the local community since the original Back Forty permits were issued. By incorporating the underground mine plan in the Feasibility Study and modifying the Project footprint, the Company expects to demonstrate substantially reduced surface impact, including wetland impacts, and a longer mine life for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Current Feasibility Study activities are focused on:
- Evaluating open pit configurations and surface infrastructure layouts that avoid direct impact to regulated wetlands;
- Progressing underground mine planning including ore delivery scheduling, ventilation, and confirming the location of the box cut;
- Updating the mineral resource estimate using current metal prices and Net Smelter Return calculations; and
- Preparing samples for additional metallurgical tests to support a simplified process flowsheet and enhanced gold recoveries.
Subject to securing additional funding, the Company’s objective is to complete the Feasibility Study in Q4 2021.
Guy Le Bel, President & CEO, commented, “We are committed to advancing the Back Forty Project with a collaborative approach that integrates feedback from the community. Our goal is to design, build and operate a 21st century mine in sync with American values of safety, quality work, leading-edge technology, and environmentally responsible mineral extraction. The resulting mine will offer over a decade of net benefits to local and regional communities while being protective of the environment.”
The Feasibility Study design will build on the substantial technical and environmental work that Aquila has completed since the submission of the original permit applications and the completion of the 2018 open pit feasibility study. Given the enhancements to the Project and the ability to demonstrate substantially reduced environmental impact by incorporating the underground mine plan, Aquila believes the most efficient path to shovel-ready status is to focus efforts on successfully permitting the optimized Feasibility Study design.