Dear Editor,

The law is clear that local governments are prevented from enacting regulations or requiring a local permit affecting mining that contradicts or conflict with Michigan’s Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations - Part 632. 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. Remember, mining is legal in Michigan.

The township has a moral obligation to follow the rules of government and work in good faith with individuals and businesses alike. Instead, officials are making up their own rules based on personal feelings.

Our door is always open should the Lake Township Board decide they want to bring improvements that are desired by the community, and we encourage residents to have that conversation with Township officials and Aquila.


Chantae Lessard

Director Social Performance and Engagement, Aquila Resources