Help us stop the latest attempt to mine near the Menominee River

The Back Forty mine is stalled for now, but that hasn’t stopped its backers from trying to start a new mine on the Menominee River.

In 2002, minerals tycoon Tom Quigley drilled test holes just across the Menominee River in Lake Township, Menominee County, Michigan. His discovery of traces of zinc and copper led to the formation of Aquila Resources, which ever since has been trying to construct the open pit Back Forty metallic sulfide mine.

So far, unrelenting public opposition has helped to prevent the Back Forty from getting the permits needed for construction. But that hasn’t stopped Quigley or Aquila.

Now Quigley, doing business as Great Lakes Exploration Inc., has applied for mineral leases on 1,640 acres of public land in Holmes Township, Menominee County, just north of where the Back Forty was slated to operate.

Wisconsinites need to tell the Michigan Department of Natural Resources we oppose these mineral leases. We live just across the Menominee Rover from where this new mining would take place. Our water is at stake.

Metallic sulfide mining poses a clear and present danger to the waters of the Menominee River. Toxic mine waste would be stored next to the river behind a “tailings dam” structure that has failed around the world – with disastrous results.

tailings dam collapse in Brazil was one of the most deadly environmental disasters in that country’s history, killing 270 people and poisoning the Paraopeba River for almost 200 miles. We can’t let that happen here.

Here’s how you can oppose the latest Quigley mining project:

> CALL the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Mineral Leasing Division at 517-284-5850

> WRITE to the Michigan DNR, Minerals Management Section, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, Michigan 48909

> EMAIL Ken Babcock at

Here are talking points:

1 – You oppose the application by Great Lakes Exploration Inc. to lease 1,640 acres of public land in Holmes Township, Menominee County, Michigan, for mineral rights.

2 – Those 1,640 acres of state land belong to the taxpayers of Michigan for camping, hiking, snowmobiling, and simply enjoying the peace and tranquility of the outdoors.

2 – You request a public hearing on the matter.

If the Michigan DNR doesn’t hear public opposition to this lease, they are likely to grant Quigley’s application. So call, write and/or email them today!

The deadline for receiving comments is Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Featured image: Menominee River Heart Art by Dave Parrett