Canadian Mining Journal


Denison tables promising PEA for Wheeler River

Denison Mines’ (TSX: DML; NYSE: DNN) preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its flagship Wheeler River uranium project in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin has left a good first impression on analysts.

The project contains the high grade Gryphon and Phoenix deposits and is held 60% by Denison, 30% by Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) and 10% by JCU (Canada) Exploration Company.

The PEA envisions mining the two deposits as a single underground operation that would use Denison’s 22.5% owned McClean Lake mill for processing. (Areva Resources holds 70% of the mill, with OURD holding the rest.)

Underground development and mining would first start at the Gryphon deposit, followed by Phoenix, roughly 3 km away. The operation should churn out a total of 104.8 million lb of uranium oxide (U3O8) over a projected 16-year mine life, at average cash costs of US$19 per lb.

The study pegs start-up capital at $560 million, with life of mine sustaining costs at $543 million, bringing the total to $1.1 billion. Denison would be responsible for 60% of the costs.

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