mission, vision, values

Mission

To safely build a modern mine where employees are empowered to make certain that our operation is protective of the environment, socially engaged, and proactive in the economic development of the communities where we work, live, and play – building capacity that lasts well beyond the life of mine.

Vision

To become a world-class mining operation that protects and minimizes impacts to our environment, promotes sustainable benefit for communities and stakeholders, and inspires commitment to a safe, injury-free workplace for all workers, every day.

Values

  • Safety
  • Environment/Social Responsibilty
  • Personal Commitment
  • Transparency
  • Leadership
  • Focus on Results
  • Ownership
Back Forty miners talking

history

Back Forty Mine is Aquila’s 100%-owned permitting-stage zinc- and gold-rich mine located in Menominee County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Zinc and copper minerals were discovered in 2001 when a local landowner was having a new water well installed.  Early in 2002, exploration drilling resulted in the discovery of the deposit. Subsequent drilling in 2002-03 and 2006-08 totaling over 252,625 feet helped define numerous closely spaced zones of significant zinc-gold-copper-silver mineralization. Over the past 10 years, Aquila and various joint venture partners, including INCO and Hudbay Minerals, have invested more than $90 million exploring and advancing Back Forty.

The open-pit mine is scheduled to commence operations in 2020, and will have an estimated life of eight years.

history

Back Forty is Aquila’s 100%-owned zinc and gold mine located in Menominee County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Zinc and copper minerals were discovered in 2001 when a local landowner was having a new water well installed.  Early in 2002, exploration drilling resulted in the discovery of the deposit. Subsequent drilling in 2002-03 and 2006-08 totaling over 252,625 feet

drill core sample

helped define numerous closely spaced zones of significant zinc-gold-copper-silver mineralization. Over the past 10 years, Aquila and various joint venture partners, including INCO and Hudbay Minerals, have invested more than $80 million exploring and advancing Back Forty.

The mine is expected to commence operations in 2020.

our team

Michael Welch

Chief Operating Officer

With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Welch was previously the Managing Director and President of the Board of Directors for Lundin Mining Corporation’s (“Lundin”) Somincor Operations, which include the Neves-Corvo copper and zinc mine in Portugal. Prior to that, he was responsible for the construction completion and start-up of operations for Lundin’s Eagle Mine in Northern Michigan, U.S.A. Before joining Lundin, Michael was the Vice President of Operations for Xstrata Nickel’s Raglan Operation in Quebec, Canada.

David Anderson
Director, Environment and Regulatory Affairs

Mr. Anderson has more than 25 years of experience in permitting, environmental monitoring, impact assessment, and regulatory affairs. Most recently, Mr. Anderson was director of environment for Highland Copper’s Copperwood project and developed the project from exploration, through completion of feasibility and permitting. Mr. Anderson also brings years of legislative and government affairs experience in mining regulation and mining tax reform. He has served on numerous state, tribal and federal committees and worked with regional NGO’s in shaping conservation policy, protection of water resources and environmental remediation. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Northland College with an emphasis in policy and law.

Chantae Lessard
Director, Social Responsibility and Engagement

Ms. Lessard has more than 20 years of experience in the mining industry. Most recently, she held the role of Manager Corporate Social Responsibility for Lundin Mining, overseeing their operations in the Americas as well as Europe on the relevant aspects of community relations, stakeholder engagement, and social responsibility. She also played a critical role in successful permitting, construction, and operation of Eagle Mine. Previously, she worked at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper mine. Ms. Lessard has an Associate of Arts degree in the Paralegal Field, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, a Master of Professional Communication degree, and a Graduate Diploma in Community Relations. In addition, she completed a program at the University of Arizona on Rebuilding Native Nations.

Jeff Lynott
Director, Exploration and Geology

Mr. Lynott has more than 30 years of mineral exploration experience, with a focus on massive sulfide exploration and development in the Great Lake region. He also has more than ten years’ experience in Mine Permitting. Mr. Lynott is responsible for the continuing technical evaluation of the Back Forty Project as well as offsite mineral exploration and property acquisition. Mr. Lynott is a Professional Geologist with a Master of Science Degree from Michigan Technological University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He is the Qualified Person for Aquila Resources.

health and safety

We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, our communities, and the environment. From the beginning, we’ve planned for the Back Forty Mine to be among the safest, most technologically advanced mines in North America.

Back Forty is being designed with safety in mind as well as state-of-the-art technology, including construction and engineering methods that meet or exceed all safety and environmental regulations.

Multiple agencies will oversee our operations throughout the life of the mine. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for administration and enforcement of the mining regulation requirements. During construction, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MiOSHA) will provide health and safety oversight. Once the Back Forty Mine is operating, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will assume enforcement functions from MiOSHA.

health and safety

We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, our communities, and the environment.  

From the beginning, we’ve planned for the Back Forty Mine to be among the safest, most technologically advanced mines in North America. Construction and engineering methods will meet or surpass all safety and environmental regulations.

Multiple agencies will oversee our operations throughout the life of the mine. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for administration and enforcement of the mining regulation requirements. During construction, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MiOSHA) will provide health and safety oversight. Once the Back Forty Mine is operating, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will assume enforcement functions from MiOSHA.

contact us

Back Forty MineE807 Gerue Street Stephenson, Michigan 49887(906) 753-9602 | info@backfortymine.com  Community Response Line: (906) 451-4192Online Response Form: Click hereCommunity Inquires: Chantae Lessard | Director Social Performance and Engagement | (906) 753-9602Media Inquiries: Dan Blondeau | Manager, Communications | (434) 906-0594