U.P. lawmakers applaud DNR lease renewal at Back Forty Mine

LANSING, Mich. — Upper Peninsula lawmakers on Monday applauded the recent renewal of a metallic mineral lease relevant to the proposed Back Forty Mine in Menominee County, which is set to mine gold, zinc, and copper.

“We appreciate the state Department of Natural Resources decision to renew the Back Forty Mine lease before its expiration deadline,” Sens. Ed McBroom and Wayne Schmidt, and Reps. Beau LaFave, Greg Markkanen, John Damoose, and Sara Cambensy said in a joint statement. “Granting the lease’s extension was an important step in the project’s development, enabling mine officials to continue work on obtaining remaining permits.”

The U.P. delegation sent a letter to DNR officials requesting the lease renewal ahead of its pending expiration on Dec. 27, 2021.

“The Back Forty Mine will be a big shot in the arm for the U.P., providing hundreds of good-paying construction, mining and administrative jobs, as well as contributing greatly to the region’s economy,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “I again thank the DNR and Director Dan Eichinger for their quick action to ensure this mining project can proceed.”

According to Back Forty Mine officials, the project is expected to provide about 350 jobs for two years in various skilled trades, including ironworkers, operators, electricians, carpenters and painters during its construction phase. Additionally, once fully operational, the mine would employ an estimated 240 mining and business professionals full time.

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