Back Forty Project 


Project Name: Back Forty


Project Lead: Aquila Resources Inc. (Fully acquired from Hudbay Minerals Inc. in November, 2013)

Location of Project: Menominee County, MI. Twelve miles west of the city of Stephenson and approximately 150 feet from the Menominee River, which forms the boundary between Michigan and Wisconsin (click here for a bird’s eye view of the area).

Metals: Zinc, copper, gold, silver

Potential Type of Mine: open-pit and underground; open-pit would be over 2,000 ft. wide and 850 ft. deep.

Estimated production life: 7 years


Potential Impacts and Concerns:

  • Acid Mine Drainage associated with a massive sulfide deposit, open-pit design and close proximity to the Menominee River
  • Cyanide use associated with potential gold processing on-site
  • Impacts to the Shakey Lakes Savanna which could largely be affected by changes in groundwater levels
  • Effects to the Menominee River which serves as the largest drainage system in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The watershed supports a critical ecological system for sturgeon, numerous recreational and fishing opportunities, and is culturally significant as a major prehistoric travel corridor for indigenous peoples and the source of Creation for the Menominee people.


In November, 2013 Aquila acquired the majority 51% interest from Hudbay Minerals.

On December 28, 2016, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved the mining permit:  The wetlands permit is being reviewed by the DEQ.

On February 21, 2017, Aquila announced exploratory winter drilling program at its Back Forty project. 2-drilling rigs will be performing the infill and expansion work. One rig will focus on better delineation of their minerals, and the second rig will focus on new project targets that were the result of geophysical anomalies previously not tested:

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Permit (NPDES) was granted on April 5, 2017. The Section 404 Clean Water Act wetlands permit is being reviewed by the DEQ. A land swap with the State of MI, and realignment of road(s)/infrastructure will also need to take place prior to project operations.

Additional Aquila Exploration Sites: (1) Sturgeon Falls Sill, (2) Turner Peridotite, (3) Silver Creek and (4) Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; (5) Five Mile Lake in northern Minnesota; and (6) Bend and (7) Reef in Wisconsin.