In a press release, Aquila Resources confirms that the Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (“EGLE”) has convened a three-person panel of experts in connection with Aquila’s Wetlands Permit appeal. The Panel held its first meeting on March 3, 2021 and will hear arguments over the coming months. The Panel is expected to render a decision in the second half of 2021. The Panel has the authority to adopt, remand, modify, or reverse, in whole or in part, the January 4, 2021 decision of an administrative law judge to overturn the Wetlands Permit. The decision of the Panel will become the final decision of EGLE. Through its appeal, at a minimum, Aquila is seeking to clarify certain aspects of the decision to facilitate further permitting efforts for the Back Forty Project.
The Company is also announced that it has agreed to terms with Osisko Technical Services to lead an optimized feasibility study for the Back Forty Project. Aquila will leverage the team’s combined engineering, permitting, construction and operating expertise to unlock value and advance the Back Forty Project through its next phase of development.
The optimized Feasibility Study will build on the substantial work that has already been completed and will include the known underground resources at Back Forty. Aquila believes that a Feasibility Study reflecting an open pit followed by an underground operation will demonstrate reduced environmental impact and a longer mine life for the benefit of all stakeholders.