* Says to act as operator of Back Forty project
* Co can raise interest to 65 pct post mining application
* Sees submitting mining application by Q4 2011
HudBay, whose main operations are in the Western Canadian province of Manitoba, said it will act as operator of the Back Forty project -- an advanced stage exploration project evaluating zinc and gold-rich volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) in Michigan’s upper peninsula region.
HudBay said it spent $10 million on the project in order to own the interest.
HudBay said it can increase its ownership interest to 65 percent after completing a feasibility study and submitting a mine permit application to the State of Michigan, which it expects to submit in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Toronto-based HudBay shares have gained 67 percent of their value since the company announced the joint venture pact with Aquila in August last year. They closed at C$14.94 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)