March 3 (Reuters) - Canada's Aquila Resources Inc said drilling results from its Back Forty joint venture project in Michigan were "very encouraging," sending its shares up 15 percent.
Deep drilling intercepts hit 12 meters of 15.26 grams per ton gold at Back Forty, a joint venture between HudBay Minerals Inc and Aquila.
HudBay, which is the operator of the joint venture and owns 51 percent of the project, has a 16.92 percent stake in Aquila.
The companies have also started exploration for nickel, copper and other metals in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an area that is considered to have rich deposits of the metals as it hosts the Eagle nickel-copper deposit.
The Eagle nickel-copper deposit is owned by Kennecott Eagle Minerals, a U.S. unit of Rio Tinto , the world's third-largest miner.
The Back Forty project is an advanced stage exploration project and has a zinc and gold-rich volcanogenic sulfide deposit.
Shares of Aquila were trading up at 99 Canadian cents on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Hudbay shares were down 7 Canadian cents at C$16.64. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)