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Permit deadline extended for UP mine

Test drilling work being done at the Back Forty mine project in Menominee Co., Michigan. (Undated photo courtesy Aquila Resources.)

LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUK) -- The Michigan DNR has been granted additional time to reveiw a permit for a controversial mine.

Aquila Resources wants to operate the Back Forty Mine, just outside of Menominee.

The state's Dept. of Environmental Quality had a Dec. 1 deadline to make a decision on the permit, which was preliminarily approved earlier. However, the state asked for a delay until Dec. 29 so that the mine, air and water permits are on the same timeline, said the DNR's Joe Maki.

Aquila Resources granted the request, according to the company CEO Barry Hildred.

"The timeline is still consistent with our previous disclosure stating that we expect to receive final permits by the end of the year," Hildred said.

Mine backers cite the jobs which would be created, while opponents have raised environmental concerns, particularly about water quality issues.

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