05/07/2019- The company poised to construct an open- pit gold and zinc mine in Menominee County has received final approval for the last state permit required for the project. Aquila Resources made the announcement Monday morning, saying the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules issued a Final Decision and Order upholding the Michigan Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining Permit for Back Forty Mine. In 2017, both the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and a property owner near the project site filed a contested case challenging the issuance of the Mining permit by the Michigan DEQ and last week, a judge issued a finding that “the proposed mining operation will not pollute, impair, or destroy the air, water, and other natural resources, or the public trust in those resources” in compliance with the state’s Non Ferrous Metallic Mining Statute. The company states they’ve now received all State and Federal permissions required for the construction and commencement of operations at the Back Forty Project, though a timeline for that work has not been provided. Aquila President and CEO Barry Hildred says the project will be a “safe, disciplined operation that promotes and supports local community socioeconomic development and is protective of the environment.”