Aquila Resources Inc. has applied to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for a dam safety permit for its Back Forty Project. The company has already been issued the four foundational state permits required for the commencement of construction and operations at Back Forty, with the mining rermit, air permit, water discharge (NPDES) permit, and wetlands permit. The dam safety permit, which is required to build the proposed tailings management facility (TMF) and contact water basin, is the final state permit required to commence construction and operations.

“With input from globally recognized engineering firms including Golder Associates Inc., Aquila is designing an operation that will protect the environment while providing a significant economic opportunity for the counties surrounding the Back Forty Project,” Aquila President and CEO Barry Hildred said. “We look forward to supporting EGLE with their review of our application and expect the dam safety permit to be issued in 2021. The design of the Back Forty TMF reflects best-in-class safety standards to manage precipitation at the mine site during operations and does not involve impounding or interfering with any water bodies.”

In order to refine elements of the Back Forty Project design, including to reduce wetland impact, improve dust management, increase stormwater storage capacity, and reduce the footprint of tailings facilities post-closure, the company revised its application for the wetlands permit and submitted updated applications for an amended mining permit and air permit to EGLE, both of which were approved in December 2019.