AQUILA RESOURCES ANNOUNCES POSITIVE PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT FOR ITS BACK FORTY PROJECT

– PEA includes the known underground Mineral Resources –

BACK FORTY PROJECT PEA HIGHLIGHTS:
(All figures in this news release are expressed in US dollars unless indicated otherwise)

  • Robust economics: After-tax NPV at a 6% discount rate of $176.3 million (approximately CA$235 million) with 26.1% IRR at long term consensus metal prices including $1,485 per ounce gold
  • Significant leverage to gold: After-tax NPV of $316.3 million at a 6% discount rate (approximately CA$422 million) with 37.8% IRR at recent spot prices including $1,998 per ounce gold with gold generating 52% of revenue
  • Includes the known underground Mineral Resources at Back Forty, increasing the life of mine to 12 full years
  • Life of mine production of over 1.5 million gold equivalent1 ounces with production in Year 1 of 206,000 gold equivalent ounces
  • The PEA mine plan consists of open pit mining from Year 1 to Year 5. Underground development will be initiated in Year 5 and underground mining will continue to Year 11. Remaining stockpiles will be processed in Year 12 and a partial Year 13
  • Pre-production capital costs of $250.4 million benefitting from significant nearby infrastructure
  • Potential value enhancement through additional exploration as the deposit remains open at depth
    ___________________________________

1 Refer to Note 4 of Table 1 for an overview of the gold equivalent calculation methodology.

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) (“Aquila” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce results of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for its wholly-owned Back Forty Project (“Back Forty” or the “Project”), located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. The PEA demonstrates Back Forty’s value as a high grade, gold-rich project with compelling economics in a Tier 1 jurisdiction. The PEA builds on the Company’s 2018 open pit Feasibility Study and includes the currently known underground Mineral Resources.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200805005353/en/

Figure 1: Production Profile - The production profile at Base Case metal prices is shown in Figure 1. (Graphic: Business Wire)Figure 1: Production Profile – The production profile at Base Case metal prices is shown in Figure 1. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Barry Hildred, President & CEO of Aquila, commented, “The completion of the PEA is a significant milestone for Aquila that showcases Back Forty’s potential as a near-term producer in the United States at a time when advanced and substantially de-risked projects are scarce. Back Forty is a well-defined project that also holds tremendous exploration potential. We are excited to commence work on an updated Feasibility Study that we anticipate will be completed next year as we advance the Project through the final stages of pre-construction activities. While doing so, we plan on conducting a drill program at Back Forty to continue to expand the Mineral Resource at-depth where the deposit remains open with numerous targets.”

Aquila will host a webcast to provide a corporate update and review the results of the PEA on Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT. See details below.

PEA SUMMARY

The PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. in collaboration with Golder Associates Ltd. and Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd. The team was led by Andrew Boushy, P.Eng. SVP Capital Projects of Aquila with support from Neil Lincoln, P.Eng. of Lincoln Metallurgical Inc. The Company plans to file the PEA Technical Report (“Technical Report”) on SEDAR at www.sedar.com within 45 days of the date of this news release. The PEA is preliminary in nature, includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be classified as Mineral Reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

TABLE 1
PEA SUMMARY METRICS

Area

Item

Units

Base Case
Price Deck1

Spot
Price Deck2

Process Production

Total Process Feed

Million tonnes

15.9

Grade

g/t gold equivalent (AuEq)4

4.2 g/t

3.7 g/t

Total Recovery and Payability

% of contained AuEq

74.3%

73.4%

Payable Gold

koz gold

692

Payable Gold Equivalent

koz gold equivalent

1,543

1,323

Annual Gold Equivalent

koz gold equivalent

128

110

Life of Mine

Years

12 years

Throughput

Tonnes per day (t/d)

Nominal 2,800 t/d sulphides + 350 t/d oxides

Metal Price Deck

Gold

$/oz

$1,485

$1,998

Zinc

$/lb

$1.08

$1.04

Copper

$/lb

$3.05

$2.92

Silver

$/oz

$18.20

$25.00

Lead

$/lb

$0.91

$0.83

Revenue and OPEX

Gross Revenue

$/t process feed

$132

$149

NSR

$/t process feed

$113

$130

Total Site Opex

$/t process feed

$52

Royalties

% of NSR

2.0%

2.1%

EBITDA3

$/t process feed

$59

$75

EBITDA margin

% of EBITDA / NSR

52%

58%

C1 Cash Costs (co-product)3

$/oz gold equivalent

$733

$854

C1 Cash Costs (by-product)3

$/oz gold

$(1,392)

$(1,791)

CAPEX

Initial Capital

$ M

$250.4

Sustaining Capital

$ M

$214.1

AISC (co-product)3

$/oz gold equivalent

$926

$1,078

AISC (by-product)3

$/oz gold

$(963)

$(1,362)

Unlevered Returns

Pre-Tax NPV 6% discount rate

$ M

$248.3

$430.3

Pre-Tax IRR

%

31.6%

45.4%

Post-Tax NPV 6% discount rate

$ M

$176.3

$316.3

Post-Tax IRR

%

26.1%

37.8%

After-tax Payback

years

2.4

1.6

1.

THE BASE CASE MACRO-ECONOMIC FORECAST ASSUMES FLAT PRICING THAT HAS BEEN DRAWN FROM THE CONSENSUS LONG TERM ESTIMATES OF SELECT BANKS AS OF JULY 2020.

2.

As at August 4, 2020.

3.

None of EBITDA, C1 cash costs or all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) have a standardized meaning under IFRS. See “Non-IFRS Measures”.

4.

Gold equivalent ounces were determined by calculating the total value of metals contained or produced and dividing that number by the gold price ($1,485/oz gold Base Case or $1,998/oz gold Spot Case). As the denominator is higher in the Spot Case, the gold equivalent is lower than at Base Case prices. Gold equivalent grade is calculated by dividing the number of gold equivalent ounces by the Mineral Resource size (tonnes).

5.

Project economics reflect the Company’s gold and silver streaming agreements with Osisko Gold Royalties (see Aquila press release dated June 18, 2020). The PEA financial model includes $30 million of initial payments under the gold stream to be received during the design and construction period. The 2018 Feasibility Study did not include the impact of the gold streaming agreement.

TABLE 2

SENSITIVITY TO GOLD PRICE1

Gold Price

($/oz)

After-tax NPV6%
($M)

After-tax IRR

Gold % of Gross Revenue

$1,200

$83

16.9%

40%

$1,400

$149

23.6%

43%

$1,600

$213

29.3%

47%

$1,800

$277

34.6%

50%

$2,000

$341

39.6%

52%

$2,200

$401

44.1%

55%

$2,400

$460

48.5%

57%

1.

ALL OTHER METALS AS BASE CASE METAL PRICES.

OPPORTUNITIES

The PEA outlined a number of initiatives that may enhance the Project including:

  • Increased gold recovery: There is value in further investigating leaching sulphide flotation tailings to economically recover additional gold. Previous scoping metallurgical test work and cost analysis investigated various options, at a high level, to extract gold from flotation tailings and was favourable at gold prices above $1,600/oz.
  • Contract mining: The current mine operations plan is based on an owner-operated mine fleet. Contract mining may be an option to offset initial mine capital costs and mitigate any risks associated with training, operational readiness and the availability of experienced mine personnel.
  • Contract process plant operations and maintenance: The current process plant operations plan is based on owner operating and maintaining the process plant. An operations and maintenance contract may be an option to mitigate any risks associated with training, operational readiness and the availability of experienced process plant operators and maintenance personnel.
  • Resource confirmation and expansion: Complete additional infill drilling with the objective of step-out drilling to potentially expand Mineral Resources.

WEBCAST DETAILS

Management will host a webcast on Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT to provide a corporate update and discuss the PEA. Register for the webcast here. Please send your questions to management at dcarew@aquilaresources.com. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website at www.aquilaresources.com.

BACK FORTY PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Back Forty Project is a polymetallic Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (“VMS”) deposit located in Menominee County, Michigan, USA. The Back Forty Deposit was originally discovered in 2002 and is currently wholly owned by Aquila. The Project is located approximately 55 km south-southeast from Iron Mountain, and approximately 19 km west of Stephenson, Michigan.

A Feasibility Study on the Project was completed in August 2018 that studied open pit mining and on-site processing plants for treating oxide material to produce gold doré and sulphide material to produce zinc, copper, and lead concentrates. The subject of the PEA relates to an expansion of the open pit mining case (Phase 1) by proposing the development of an underground mine (Phase 2) associated with the Project after the open pit phase is complete. It should be noted that the Company has not yet commenced the permitting process for a potential underground expansion.

While the value proposition and operating context for the PEA are similar to the 2018 Feasibility Study, the PEA reflects certain enhancements including:

  • As a result of the addition of an underground mine expansion, the oxide and sulphide processing plants were resized to a lower nominal throughput to align them with expected underground mine throughput and to optimize the Project’s economics. The oxide process plant throughput has been reduced from 800 t/d to 350 t/d and the sulphide process plant throughput has been reduced from a nominal 4,000 t/d to 2,800 t/d. The reduction in process plant throughput contributed to a $54 million decrease in initial capital expenditures versus the 2018 Feasibility Study.
  • The oxide processing flowsheet was updated to include a SART (sulfidization, acidification, recycling and thickening) plant for optimal doré quality, silver recovery, mercury management, and cyanide management.
  • Process plant feed, stockpile management and sulphide process plant change-overs have been optimized to improve operability.
  • Additional metallurgical test work has been incorporated to assess blending options and recovery performance and penalties.
  • Updated permit conditions have been incorporated, including a double liner leak detection system under all waste rock storage areas and additional contact water storage volume.

MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE

The Mineral Resource Estimate is set out in Table 3 and was prepared by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. The Deposit is well-defined with 94% of the Mineral Resource contained in the Measured and Indicated (“M&I”) classifications. On a gold equivalent basis, the Deposit contains 2.5 million gold equivalent ounces in the M&I classifications at a grade of 4.3 g/t gold equivalent.

TABLE 3
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE AS AT OCTOBER 14, 2019

Classification

Tonnes
(1,000)

Gold
(g/t)

Gold
(koz)

Silver
(g/t)

Silver
(koz)

Copper
(%)

Copper
(mlb)

Lead
(%)

Lead
(Mlb)

Zinc
(%)

Zinc
(Mlb)

Open Pit

Measured

7,062

1.94

440.1

18.95

4,302.0

0.34

53.51

0.14

22.1

3.02

470.1

Indicated

4,341

1.75

244.7

29.67

4,140.1

0.14

13.55

0.35

33.8

1.97

188.1

M&I

11,403

1.87

684.8

23.03

8,442.0

0.27

67.05

0.22

55.9

2.62

658.2

Inferred

264

3.13

26.6

42.32

359.4

0.06

0.35

0.56

3.3

0.62

3.6

Underground

Measured

1,382

2.21

98.0

25.37

1,127.7

0.30

9.1

0.32

9.7

4.43

134.9

Indicated

5,486

1.86

327.7

25.98

4,582.8

0.42

51.2

0.32

38.2

3.53

427.3

M&I

6,868

1.93

425.7

25.86

5,710.6

0.40

60.3

0.32

47.9

3.71

562.2

Inferred

930

3.88

116.0

51.21

1,531.8

0.47

9.7

0.45

9.2

1.40

28.7

Total

Measured

8,444

1.98

538.1

20.00

5,429.7

0.34

62.6

0.17

31.8

3.25

605.0

Indicated

9,827

1.81

572.4

27.61

8,722.9

0.30

64.7

0.33

72.0

2.84

615.4

M&I

18,271

1.89

1,110.4

24.09

14,152.6

0.32

127.3

0.26

103.8

3.03

1,220.5

Inferred

1,194

3.71

142.5

49.24

1,891.2

0.38

10.1

0.47

12.5

1.23

32.3

1.

MINERAL RESOURCES WHICH ARE NOT MINERAL RESERVES DO NOT HAVE DEMONSTRATED ECONOMIC VIABILITY.

2.

The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.

3.

The Inferred Mineral Resource in this estimate has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of the Inferred Mineral Resource could be upgraded to an Indicated Mineral Resource with continued exploration.

4.

The Mineral Resources in this Technical Report were estimated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by the CIM Council.

5.

The Mineral Resource Estimate was based on metal prices of $1,375/oz gold, $22.27/oz silver, $1.10/lb zinc, $3.19/lb copper and $1.15/lb lead.

6.

Open pit Mineral Resources were defined within the constraining pit design as per the 2018 Feasibility Study.

7.

NSR cut-off values were established for each metallurgical type. Refer to the Technical Report for full details.

MINING

The Back Forty mine plan presented in the PEA is based on mining the highest value material as soon as possible and treating this material through the process plants to maximize cash flow. This strategy is achieved by mining the mineralized material and either feeding the material directly to the process plant or stockpiling the material on-site for processing later per a feed schedule based on optimal economics for the operation. This plan consists of a combined open pit and underground mining operation. Open pit mining will take place from Year 1 to Year 5. Underground development will be initiated in Year 5 and underground production mining will continue to Year 11.

A series of grade blending stockpiles, by material type, will serve to prioritize the processing of higher-grade material and also manage fluctuations in process plant feed delivery from the two mining operations.

The Back Forty Project area consists of very subdued terrain and topography. The area, topography and climate are amenable to the conventional open pit mining operations proposed for the Project. The open pit mining operation will encompass a single open pit that will be mined with conventional mining equipment in three pushback phases. The underground mine will be developed beneath the open pit with a single decline access point located partway down the open pit main access ramp.

Open Pit Mining

The open pit design is based on the 2018 Feasibility Study design. Minor modifications were made to standardize on 5-metre-high benches with a quadruple bench configuration, resulting in a 20-metre vertical distance between catch berms.

Open pit mining operations will be carried out by Company personnel except for blasting operations. A blasting contractor will be used to supply the explosives, prepare the blasts, charge the holes, fire the blast, and inspect the area post-blast. The equipment fleet will consist of hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders, both with 8 m3 buckets, and 90 t capacity haul trucks, plus track dozers, graders, and support equipment.

A summary of the open pit mining schedule is shown in Table 4.

TABLE 4
OPEN PIT MINING SCHEDULE

Type

Units

Total

Year

Y-1

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Overburden

kt

3,778

1,233

1,648

896

Waste Rock

kt

47,970

1,568

9,263

12,130

13,437

10,512

1,058

Total Waste

kt

51,747

2,801

10,911

13,027

13,437

10,512

1,058

Process Plant Feed Mining

Total Sulphide

kt

8,815

73

2,236

1,647

1,406

2,678

776

Total Oxide

kt

1,317

126

353

327

157

309

45

Total Feed

kt

10,132

199

2,589

1,974

1,563

2,987

821

Total Material

kt

61,880

3,000

13,500

15,000

15,000

13,500

1,879

Strip ratio

w:o

5.1

14.1

4.2

6.6

8.6

3.5

1.3

Feed to Stockpiles

kt

6,961

199

1,995

1,609

575

1,953

629

Underground Mining

Extraction of the underground Mineral Resource will be achieved by a combination of mechanized Cut and Fill (“CF”) or Longhole (“LH”) methods. CF mining is the dominant method, producing approximately 63% of mined tonnes, with LH producing the remaining 37% of tonnes. CF mining uses one of four stope sizes, and targets flatter-dipping material (dip less than 55°). LH mining uses one of two stope size subsets and orientations (transverse or longitudinal). The weighted average direct mining cost is $33/tonne.

The underground mine begins construction and development in Year 5 with commercial production achieved in Year 6. The production rate of the underground varies depending on development requirements, with a commercial production rate of 2,300 t/d, increasing to a maximum of 3,200 t/d in Year 7.

Table 5 shows the production tonnes from the Back Forty underground deposit by year and mining method.

TABLE 5
PRODUCTION BY MINING TYPE BY YEAR (KT)

Type

Year
5

Year
6

Year
7

Year
8

Year
9

Year
10

Year
11

Total

LH

438

968

732

2,138

CF Type 1

98

503

520

268

1,389

CF Type 2

119

551

558

536

232

1,996

CF Type 3

1

18

43

47

13

122

CF Type 4

1

16

22

24

8

72

Total

122

683

1,126

1,126

959

968

732

5,717

MINERAL PROCESSING AND METALLURGY

Oxide mineralized material and sulphide mineralized material (Main, Pinwheel and Tuff material) will be treated through separate process plants.

The oxide mineralized material will be processed via a cyanidation leach circuit to produce doré. Depending on the grades of copper, zinc and lead, the sulphide mineralized material will be processed via two stages of flotation to produce concentrates, i.e. either a copper and zinc concentrate, or a lead and zinc concentrate.

Sulphide mineralized material will be processed on a campaign basis based on the main material types that have a similar metallurgical response. As such the design of the sulphide process plant is based on a flexible metallurgical flowsheet to process the main material types.

The oxide process plant has been designed for a throughput of 350 t/d. The overall flowsheet includes the following steps:

  1. Three stage crushing using an open circuit jaw crusher, open-circuit secondary cone crusher and closed-circuit tertiary cone crusher.
  2. Grinding and classification.
  3. Pre-leach thickening.
  4. Cyanide leach.
  5. Vacuum filtration of leaching tailings.
  6. SART.
  7. Carbon-in-Column gold adsorption.
  8. Carbon acid-washing, desorption and recovery.
  9. Smelting to produce doré.
  10. Cyanide destruction of the final wash filtrate from the vacuum filtration step.
  11. Tailings repulping and disposal to the Tailings Management Facility (“TMF”).

The sulphide process plant has been designed for a nominal throughput of 2,800 t/d. The overall flowsheet includes the following steps:

  1. Primary crushing.
  2. Coarse mineralized material stockpile and reclaim.
  3. Grinding and classification.
  4. Gravity concentration.
  5. Bulk rougher flotation to produce copper concentrate or lead concentrate depending on mineralized material campaign.
  6. Zinc rougher flotation.
  7. Bulk concentrate regrind (copper or lead concentrate).
  8. Zinc concentrate regrind.
  9. Bulk cleaner flotation, using three stages of cleaning (copper or lead concentrate).
  10. Zinc cleaner flotation, using two stages of cleaning.
  11. Bulk concentrate thickening and filtration (copper or lead concentrate).
  12. Zinc concentrate thickening and filtration.
  13. Tailings thickening and disposal in the common TMF.

Metal Production

Metal production figures are summarized in Table 6.

TABLE 6
PAYABLE METAL PRODUCTION

Metal

Life of Project

Average Annual

Gold (K oz)

692

58

Zinc (M LBS)

801

67

Copper (M lbs)

86

7

Silver (K oz)

6,260

522

Lead (M lbs)

26

2

The production profile at Base Case metal prices is shown in Figure 1.

A summary of the life of project revenue by metal, revenue by product, and recovery by metal are included in Table 7 (calculated at Base Case metal prices).

TABLE 7

Revenue by Metal

Revenue by Product

Total Recovery by Metal

Metal

% of Revenue

Product

% of Revenue

Metal

Recovery

Gold

45%

Zinc Concentrate

43%

Gold

74.3%

Zinc

38%

Copper Concentrate

38%

Zinc

91.9%

Copper

11%

Doré

13%

Copper

81.2%

Silver

5%

Lead Concentrate

6%

Silver

67.2%

Lead

1%

Total

100%

Lead

83.7%

Total

100%

Concentrate Marketing

In addition to a Doré, the Back Forty Project will produce zinc, copper and lead concentrates. The zinc concentrates will on average grade 53.9%, the copper concentrates will on average grade 18.5% (with high precious metals content), and the lead concentrate will on average grade 35%. Over its 12-year life, the Project will on average annually produce 66,200 tonnes of zinc concentrate, 18,600 tonnes of copper concentrate and 3,100 tonnes of lead concentrate. All concentrates are expected to be marketable. Studies are ongoing to evaluate the optimal blends, destinations and transport options for Back Forty concentrates. The Company believes that there are multiple attractive options for each of the concentrates.

CAPITAL AND OPERATING COSTS

The capital estimate is summarized in Table 8 by area and by discipline. All costs are based on Q3 2019 pricing. The estimate is deemed to have an accuracy of ±25%.

TABLE 8

CAPITAL ESTIMATE SUMMARY BY AREA

Item

Capital Costs ($M)

Construction Indirects

11.4

Oxide Process Plant

24.1

Sulphide Process Plant

57.5

TMF/Waste Rock Facility

42.6

Infrastructure

34.2

Mining

23.6

EPCM

15.7

Owner costs

11.4

Subtotal

220.6

Contingency (14%)

29.9

Total

250.4

Sustaining Capital

Capital expenditures incurred after Year -1 are considered sustaining capital. Open pit sustaining capital totals $45.9M in expenditures primarily incurred between Year 1 and Year 6. Initial capital costs for the underground mine are treated as sustaining capital costs for the Back Forty Project since open pit mining will be well underway by the time the underground mine is developed. Sustaining capital costs also include all costs associated with infrastructure, capital waste development (vertical and lateral), relevant equipment leasing costs (down payments, legal fees, origination costs and mobilization costs), and the paste backfill plant. Total underground sustaining capital costs are estimated at $98.9M primarily incurred in Year 5 and Year 6.

Other Project sustaining capital costs include subsequent TMF stage raises over the LOM and process plant annual capital expenditures. Other Project sustaining capital schedule over the life of mine is estimated at $69.3M incurred between Year 1 and Year 5.

Mine closure costs, salvage value and rehabilitation costs are estimated at $75M.

Operating Costs

A summary of the life of project operating costs is outlined in Table 9.

TABLE 9
OPERATING COSTS SUMMARY

Life of Project Cost
($M)

Unit Cost
($/t)

Gross Revenue

2,095

132

Realization Charges

310

19

NSR (Base Case)

1,785

113

Open pit mining

178

11

Underground mining

288

18

Process plant

310

20

G&A

46

3

Total Site Opex

821

52

Qualified Persons

This news release has been reviewed and approved by the Qualified Persons noted below. The Qualified Persons have reviewed or verified all information for which they are individually responsible.

TABLE 10
QUALIFIED PERSONS

Qualified Person

Employer

Professional
Designation

Neil Lincoln

Lincoln Metallurgical Inc.

P.Eng.

Andrew Bradfield

P&E Mining Consultants Inc.

P.Eng.

Yungang Wu

P&E Mining Consultants Inc.

P.Geo.

David Penswick

Gibsonian Inc

P.Eng.

About Aquila

Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) is a development‐stage company focused on high grade and gold-rich projects in the Upper Midwest, USA. Aquila’s experienced management team is focused on advancing pre-construction activities for its 100%‐owned gold and zinc‐rich Back Forty Project in Michigan.

Aquila’s flagship Back Forty Project is an open pit volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit with underground potential located along the mineral‐rich Penokean Volcanic Belt in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Back Forty contains approximately 1.1 million ounces of gold and 1.2 billion pounds of zinc in the Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource classifications, with additional upside potential.

Aquila has two other exploration projects: Reef Gold Project located in Marathon County, Wisconsin and the Bend Project located in Taylor County, Wisconsin. Reef is a gold-copper property and Bend is a volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence containing copper and gold. Additional disclosure of Aquila’s financial statements, technical reports, material change reports, news releases and other information can be obtained at www.aquilaresources.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information

Readers are cautioned that the conclusions, projections and estimates set out in this news release are subject to important qualifications, assumptions and exclusions, all of which are detailed in the Technical Report. To fully understand the summary information set out in this news release, the Technical Report to be filed on SEDAR should be read in its entirety.

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements and information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future permitting and legal timelines and the advancement of the Company’s Back Forty Project, the additional upside potential of the Project, statements with respect to the expected project economics for the Project, such as estimates of life of mine, total production and average production, metal production and recoveries, C1 cash costs, AISC, capital and operating costs, pre- and post-tax IRR, pre- and post-tax NPV and cash flows, the potential conversion of Inferred Mineral Resources into Indicated Mineral Resources, and any projections outlined in the Preliminary Economic Assessment in respect of the Project. Forward-looking statements and information are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the ability of Aquila to control or predict, that may cause their actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied thereby, and are developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to: risks with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic; and other related risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties disclosed in Aquila’s filings on its website at www.aquilaresources.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Aquila undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward-looking information represents Aquila’s best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Furthermore, mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Non-IFRS Measures

C1 cash costs, AISC, and EBITDA are non-IFRS financial measures calculated by the Company as set forth below, and may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other companies.

C1 cash costs, which are intended to measure direct cash costs of producing paid metal, include all direct costs that would generate payable recoveries of metals for sale to customers, including mining of mineralized materials and waste, leaching, processing, refining and transportation costs, on-site administrative costs and royalties, net of by-product credits. C1 cash costs do not include depreciation, depletion, amortization, exploration expenditures, reclamation and remediation costs, sustaining capital, financing costs, income taxes, or corporate general and administrative costs not directly or indirectly related to the Project. C1 cash costs are divided by the number of ounces of gold estimated to be produced for the period to arrive at cash costs per gold ounce produced.

AISC includes C1 cash costs, as defined above, plus exploration costs at the Project and sustaining capital expenditures (including additional tailings storage, permitting and customary improvements to the operations over the life of the project). AISC is divided by the number of ounces of gold estimated to be produced for the period to arrive at AISC per gold ounce produced.

EBITDA is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Barry Hildred, CEO
Aquila Resources Inc.
Tel: 647.943.5672
Email: bhildred@aquilaresources.com

David Carew, Director of Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Aquila Resources Inc.
Tel: 647.943.5677
Email: dcarew@aquilaresources.com

Source: Aquila Resources Inc.


AQUILA RESOURCES ANNOUNCES AMENDMENTS TO GOLD AND SILVER STREAMS WITH OSISKO

– Agreement Provides Immediate Funding of US$2.5 Million –

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 18, 2020

Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX:AQA, OTCQB:AQARF) (“Aquila” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company and a subsidiary of Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. (“Osisko”) have entered into definitive agreements to amend certain terms of the gold purchase agreement dated November 8, 2017 (the “Gold Stream”) and the amended and restated silver purchase agreement dated September 30, 2016 (the “Silver Stream”) in order to accelerate Aquila’s access to a portion of the outstanding funding under the Gold Stream and to provide additional flexibility.

Under the terms of the amendments, Osisko will immediately advance US$2.5 million (excluding transaction costs) of the remaining deposit under the Gold Stream to Aquila. Osisko will advance an additional US$7.5 million upon Aquila achieving certain corporate and project development milestones that are expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months. Osisko has also agreed to adjust certain milestone dates under the Gold Stream and Silver Stream to align the streams with the current project development timeline.

In exchange for Osisko agreeing to make the payments and milestone date changes described above, the remaining deposit available to Aquila under the Gold Stream will be reduced from US$40 million to US$35 million, of which US$10 million is payable as described above, and the remaining US$25 million will be payable pro rata with drawdowns under a senior construction facility for the Company’s Back Forty Project. The designated Gold Stream percentage remains unchanged at 18.5% until the delivery of 105,000 gold ounces to Osisko, upon which the stream will be reduced to 9.25%. Osisko will continue to pay 30% of the gold spot price on delivery, subject to a maximum payment of US$600/oz. The Silver Stream will be amended to increase the designated silver stream percentage from 75% to 85% of the number of payable silver ounces produced from Back Forty with no change to the ongoing price of US$4/oz.

“This transaction provides Aquila with the certainty of funding necessary to enable us to continue to advance the Back Forty Project towards construction,” said Barry Hildred, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aquila. “In addition to providing the Company with capital to continue building on recent positive permitting developments, the stream amendments also provide us with the flexibility to advance the Back Forty Project on a schedule that reflects anticipated permitting, engineering, and financing timelines. I want to thank Osisko for their continued support of Aquila and the Back Forty Project.”

Tax Update

The Company is also pleased to announce that the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has ruled in its favor regarding two Notices of Objection that Aquila filed in connection with re-assessments of certain of its input tax credits. As a result, the Company has received approximately US$685,000 from the CRA, including interest. Together with the US$2.5 million advance under the Gold Stream, the Company has received immediate funding of approximately US$3,185,000 (excluding transaction costs).

Advisors and Counsel

With respect to the stream amendments, Scotiabank acted as exclusive financial advisor to Aquila and McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as legal counsel to Aquila.

About Aquila

Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) is a development-stage company with strategic assets in the Great Lakes Region. Aquila’s experienced management team is focused on advancing pre-construction activities for its 100%‐owned gold and zinc-rich Back Forty Project in Michigan.

Aquila’s flagship Back Forty Project is an open pit volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit with underground potential located along the mineral-rich Penokean Volcanic Belt in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Back Forty contains approximately 1 million ounces of gold and 1.1 billion pounds of zinc in the Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource categories, with additional upside potential.

Aquila has two other exploration projects: Reef Gold Project located in Marathon County, Wisconsin and the Bend Project located in Taylor County, Wisconsin. Reef is a gold-copper property and Bend is a volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence containing copper and gold. Additional disclosure of Aquila’s financial statements, technical reports, material change reports, news releases and other information can be obtained at www.aquilaresources.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements and information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the transactions contemplated under the Gold Stream and the Silver Stream and their terms and timing; and the advancement of the Company’s Back Forty Project, including, but not limited to, anticipated permitting, engineering, and financing timelines. Forward-looking statements and information are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the ability of Aquila to control or predict, that may cause their actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied thereby, and are developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to: risks and uncertainties related to the availability of further advances of the remaining deposit under the Gold Stream; the availability of senior construction financing for the Back Forty Project; risks with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic; and other related risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties disclosed in Aquila’s filings on its website at www.aquilaresources.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Aquila undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward-looking information represents Aquila’s best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Furthermore, mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Barry Hildred, CEO
Aquila Resources Inc.
647.943.5672
bhildred@aquilaresources.com

David Carew, Director of Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Aquila Resources Inc.
647.943.5677
dcarew@aquilaresources.com

Source: Aquila Resources Inc.


COURT UPHOLDS ISSUANCE OF BACK FORTY MINE PERMIT

Shares Outstanding: 337,568,556

TORONTO, May 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) ("Aquila" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that on May 3, 2019, the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules issued a Final Decision and Order upholding the Michigan Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining Permit ("Mining Permit") for its Back Forty Project in Michigan.

In February 2017, both the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and an individual owning property near the project site filed an administrative contested case challenge to the issuance of the Mining Permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, now the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. An Administrative Law Judge ("Judge") convened an evidentiary hearing in April of 2018, which ended in October 2018. On May 3, 2019, following 30 days of cumulative testimony, the Judge issued a final decision 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 Michigan's Non Ferrous Metallic Mining Statute.

Barry Hildred, President & CEO of Aquila, commented "Aquila will continue its efforts with the State of Michigan and local communities to demonstrate our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable resource development that benefits all stakeholders. The Back Forty Mine will be a safe, disciplined operation that promotes and supports local community socio-economic development and is protective of the environment."

ABOUT AQUILA RESOURCES

Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) is a development‐stage company with strategic assets in the Great Lakes Region. The Company's experienced management team is focused on advancing pre-construction activities for its 100%‐owned zinc‐ and gold‐rich Back Forty Project in Michigan.

Aquila's flagship Back Forty Project is an open pit volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit with underground potential located along the mineral‐rich Penokean Volcanic Belt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Project contains approximately 1.1B pounds of zinc and 1M ounces of gold in the Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource categories, with additional upside potential. Aquila has received all State and Federal permissions required for the construction and commencement of operations at the Back Forty Project.

The Company has two other exploration projects: Reef Gold Project located in Marathon County, Wisconsin and the Bend Project located in Taylor County, Wisconsin. Reef is a gold-copper property and Bend is a volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence containing copper and gold.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release may contain certain forward‐looking statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. In certain cases, forward‐looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" and similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook.

These and other forward‐looking statements and information are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the ability of Aquila to control or predict, that may cause their actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied thereby, and are developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein. These risks include those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Aquila's most recent annual information form and its other public filings, copies of which can be under Aquila's profile at www.sedar.com. Aquila expressly disclaims any obligation to update forward‐looking information except as required by applicable law.  Such forward‐looking information represents Aquila's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward‐looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward‐looking statements or information. Furthermore, Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

SOURCE Aquila Resources Inc.


RESPONSE TO LAKE TOWNSHIP PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ZONING ORDINANCES

STEPHENSON, Mich. September 19, 2018 – Back Forty Mine issues the following statement in response to Lake Township's proposed amendments to zoning ordinances.

"The law is clear that local governments are preempted (prevented) from enacting regulations or requiring a local permit affecting mining that contradicts or conflict with Michigan's Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations - Part 632. Concerning limited power is given to local units of government, they may “…regulate hours at which mining operations take place and routes used by vehicles in connection with mining operations. However, such ordinances, regulations, or resolutions shall be reasonable in accommodating customary nonferrous metallic mineral mining operations.”

Unfortunately, certain officials in Lake Township have been actively opposing the Back Forty Mine for more than a decade, and by adding illegal, costly, and excessive local regulations by way of amendments, they are attempting to prevent the project from moving forward. For years now, the Township has turned us away when we have tried to work collaboratively with them to address their concerns. The Township has gone so far as to bar officials, via a resolution, from communicating with Aquila. This censorship is both unreasonable and illegal. More importantly, this behavior is preventing Lake Township residents from having a conversation about what support this mine can provide to the community.

We remain optimistic that constructive conversations with the Lake Township Board will bring improvements that are desired by the community, and we encourage residents to have that conversation with Township officials and Aquila."

Related - Eagle Herald: Crowd packs Lake Township Hall

###

ABOUT BACK FORTY MINE

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Dan Blondeau
Manager, Communications
Phone (434) 906-0594
dblondeau@aquilaresources.com


AQUILA RESOURCES FILES FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE BACK FORTY MINE

Shares Outstanding: 337,568,556

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA) ("Aquila" or the "Company") announced today that it has filed a technical report for its Back Forty Project in Michigan. The technical report is entitled "Back Forty Project, Michigan, USA – Feasibility Study" and was compiled by Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd with support from globally recognized experts and specialist consulting engineering companies in environmentally critical areas such as waste water treatment, tailings and waste rock management and mine design (the "Technical Report").

The Technical Report was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and supports the disclosure outlined in Aquila's news release dated August 1, 2018. The Technical Report is available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on its website at www.aquilaresources.com.

ABOUT AQUILA RESOURCES
Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA) is a development‐stage company with strategic assets in the Great Lakes Region. The Company's experienced management team is focused on advancing pre-construction and exploration activities for its 100%‐owned zinc‐ and gold‐rich Back Forty Project in Michigan.

Aquila's flagship Back Forty Project is an open pit volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit with underground potential located along the mineral‐rich Penokean Volcanic Belt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Project contains approximately 1.1B pounds of zinc and 1M ounces of gold in the Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource categories, with additional upside potential. Aquila has received all State and Federal permissions required for the construction and commencement of operations at the Back Forty Project.

The Company has three other exploration projects: Reef Gold Project located in Marathon County, Wisconsin, the Bend Project located in Taylor County, Wisconsin and Aquila Nickel located in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Reef is a gold-copper property and Bend is a volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence containing copper and gold.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This press release may contain certain forward‐looking statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. In certain cases, forward‐looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" and similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook.

These and other forward‐looking statements and information are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the ability of Aquila to control or predict, that may cause their actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied thereby, and are developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein. These risks include those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Aquila's most recent annual information form and its other public filings, copies of which can be under Aquila's profile at www.sedar.com. Aquila expressly disclaims any obligation to update forward‐looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward‐looking information represents Aquila's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward‐looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward‐looking statements or information. Furthermore, Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

SOURCE Aquila Resources Inc.


COUNCIL DEFEATS ANTI-MINE MEASURE

STEPHENSON, Mich. June 19, 2018 – Last evening, the Menominee City Council defeated a resolution opposing the Back Forty Mine with a 3-6 vote. You'll see a story on the meeting in today's Eagle Herald.

During the meeting Council member Frank Pohlmann said that the group had asked Aquila questions, but the questions were either unanswered or discouraging. “We are dealing with a company that is not trustworthy,” Pohlmann said.

Back in March, we responded to the Council's questions, which you'll find below.

  • The economic impact to the local taxing district, county and state.
    • In a typical year, it is estimated that we will pay roughly $9 million to the federal government and $11 million will go to state and local governments.
    • Lake Township will receive approximately $5 million per year from the MI Severance Tax that is paid by Aquila Resources. The Severance Tax equates to 2.75% of the taxable metal value, which is subject to market conditions. What this means is that these numbers will go up or down depending on the average metal price during any given year.
    • Besides monetary benefits the project will provide several hundred construction jobs and more than 240 permanent, direct jobs with an annual payroll of approximately $9.5 million. Outside of mining we estimate the project will add another 100 indirect jobs in the community.
  • Provide the logistic plan for deliver to and from the Mine operations.
    • As our mining permit states, we will use existing roads.
  • Provide all the contributions to local organizations, nonprofit, schools, governments, etc.
    • We have been providing contributions and sponsorships to the community for more than a decade. Due to changes in ownership over the years we do not have a complete record of giving. However, examples of our contributions include the Menominee Waterfront Festival, Mid County Rescue Squad, UP Whitetails Association, Marinette Menominee Area Chamber, Menominee Business Development Corp, Menominee Legion Baseball, Menominee Downtown Business Association, Menominee County Fair, and Menominee County Library. In addition, we’re continuing our high school senior scholarship program, which over the years has awarded nearly $40,000 to graduating seniors in Menominee County.

Our goal is to be open and transparent in our development of the Back Forty Mine. We would like to work with community members and local government as we move forward with our project.

If you have questions about the Back Forty Mine, please contact us.


SENATE BILLS MOVE FORWARD WITH AIM TO IMPROVE MDEQ RULE-MAKING

Sausalito, CA. June 12, 2018 -Senate Bills 652-654 proposed by the Michigan House Competitiveness Committee have been approved in the House by a narrow vote. The bill moves on to the Senate for a concurrence vote before it is sent to the governor for final approval.

At its core, the bill is aimed at improving administrative rulemaking by providing for increased transparency and accountability in the DEQ. The proposal is intended to address faulty processes in DEQ's regulation in the following ways:

  • SB 654 reestablishes an Environmental Science Advisory Board to hear scientific evidence and provide recommendation to the g
  • SB 652 would create an 11-member stakeholder committee to review, amend, deny and approve DEQ rule promulgation.
  • SB 653 would establish an appeals board that, upon request, would serve as a scientific permit review panel to hear an appeal by a permit applicant that has been denied by the DEQ.

Opposition for the bill is centered around concerns about SB 654's creation of an advisory body made up of members of companies with vested interests in DEQ decisions. Nonetheless, the bill has received wide support from various groups, including the Michigan Chambers which praises the "openness and accountability and transparency in DEQ rule-making" the bill will bring.

Source: JD Supra, LLC


BACK FORTY MINE ANNOUNCES WETLANDS PERMIT APPROVAL

STEPHENSON, Mich. June 4, 2018 – Today, Back Forty Mine (“Company”) announced that following a rigorous review process, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”) has issued the Company a wetlands, lakes, and streams permit (“Wetlands Permit”). The issued Wetlands Permit also includes conditions requested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The provisions strengthen protections for water quality and other natural resources.

“We commend the work of everyone involved with this process. Community members, local leaders, state and federal regulators have all left their mark on this Wetlands Permit. This is a very significant milestone and we believe this collective effort has resulted in a robust environmental permitting process that allows us to move forward and build a world class mining operation”, said Mike Welch, Chief Operating Officer of Aquila Resources.

The Wetlands Permit is the final permit required to build and operate the mine. The MDEQ previously issued the Company the Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining permit, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and the Air Use Permit to Install permit.

Back Forty Mine will commence pre-construction activities immediately. This phase includes; completion of the feasibility study, finalization of the Project Execution Plan that allows preparation for the construction and operational readiness of the Back Forty Mine, and continued discussions with prospective financial partners to secure necessary project capital to build the mine.

###

ABOUT BACK FORTY MINE

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Dan Blondeau
Manager, Communications
Phone (434) 906-0594
dblondeau@aquilaresources.com


WITH FEDERAL AGENCY LETTER, BACK FORTY MINE CLEARS PERMIT HURDLE

STEPHENSON, Mich. May 4, 2018 – Today, Back Forty Mine (“Company”) announced that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) removed a majority of its objections to the Company’s wetland/stream/floodplain permit (“Wetlands Permit”). The EPA had expressed its concerns in a March 8, 2018, letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”).

In a letter to the MDEQ dated May 3, 2018, EPA said there is a pathway forward to resolve the remaining objections through MDEQ’s inclusion of specific conditions in a final Wetlands Permit. After reviewing the proposed permit conditions, we’re confident that we can meet the requirements.

The MDEQ has until June 6, 2018, to work with the Company to ensure that the proposed permit conditions fully address the EPA’s concerns. We’re confident that we can meet the EPA’s requirements within the prescribed timeframe.

We commend the EPA, MDEQ and our team for more than two years of hard work and careful attention they’ve dedicated to reviewing this permit. The agencies followed a rigorous process, leaving no stone unturned. The proposed conditions strengthen protections for water quality and other natural resources.

We look forward to final regulatory approval of the Wetlands Permit. This permit is the fourth and final permit required to construct and operate the Back Forty Mine.

###

ABOUT BACK FORTY MINE

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Dan Blondeau
Manager, Communications
Phone (434) 906-0594
dblondeau@aquilaresources.com


BACK FORTY MINE LAWSUIT DISMISSAL REQUESTED

GREEN BAY — The federal government has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Menominee Indian Tribe regarding the proposed Back Forty Mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, according to WLUK-TV Green Bay.

Aquila Resources wants to operate a gold, zinc, and copper mine in Menominee County. The state has issued three of the permits for the project, with the fourth currently under review.

The tribe filed suit in January, seeking to force the federal government to step into the process.

But in the 24-page response filed Friday, the federal government noted that on March 8, the EPA filed an objection to Aquila’s project as proposed — therefore making the lawsuit a moot point. The federal government also says the tribe’s lawsuit was filed too soon.

“There has been no final decision as to whether the Mine should be issued a permit, and additional administrative review is necessary before this question will be answered. Requiring the Tribe to wait until the conclusion of these proceedings before securing judicial review does not result in any harm to the Tribe, because the burdens of the administrative process on the Tribe are not a cognizable hardship. Moreover, further proceedings may entirely moot the need for litigation,” the Department of Justice argued.

No court dates have been scheduled.

Source: EagleHerald