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Exploration &
Development

Wheeler River

The Wheeler River property is host to the high-grade Phoenix and Gryphon uranium deposits. The Phoenix deposit is estimated to include indicated resources of 70.2M lbs U3O8 at a grade of 19.1% U3O8, and is the highest grade undeveloped uranium deposit in the world. The Gryphon deposit is hosted in basement rock, approximately 3 kilometres to the northwest of Phoenix, and is currently estimated to contain inferred resources of 43M lbs U3O8 at a grade of 2.3% U3O8.

Denison Mines Corp. has executed an agreement with the partners of the Wheeler River Joint Venture ("WRJV") that will result in an increase in Denison's ownership of the Wheeler River project to up to approximately 66% (currently 60%) by the end of 2018. The Wheeler River property is located in the infrastructure rich eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin, and is a joint venture between Denison (60% ownership and operator), Cameco Corp. ("Cameco") (30% ownership), and JCU (Canada) Exploration Limited ("JCU") (10% ownership), (collectively, the "JV Parties").

The Wheeler River Joint Venture consists of 19 unsurveyed mineral claims totaling 11,720 hectares in northern Saskatchewan. Denison has been the operator since November 10, 2004.

The property is located along the eastern edge of the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan and is located approximately 35 km north-northeast of the Key Lake mill and 35 km southwest of the McArthur River uranium mine.

Access to the property is by road or air from Saskatoon. Infrastructure in the area is very good, with both the McArthur River - Key Lake haul road and a high voltage power line running along the eastern edge of the property.

Geology

Both Phoenix and Gryphon are unconformity related uranium deposits lying along the eastern flank of the Athabasca Basin where undeformed, late Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic sandstones, conglomerates, and mudstones of the Athabasca Group unconformably overlie early Paleoproterozoic and Archean crystalline basement rocks. The local geology of the Phoenix deposit is very much consistent with the regional geology.

The Phoenix deposit is located at the sub-Athabasca unconformity, at a depth of approximately 400 metres below the surface, at the intersection of a graphitic fault zone and the unconformity. Mineralization is monomineralic uranium as uraninite/pitchblende. Values of all accompanying metals are low, particularly in comparison with many other Athabasca uranium deposits, which can have very high values of nickel, cobalt and arsenic. An updated mineral resource estimate for the Phoenix deposit was received from RPA Inc. which was retained to independently estimate the mineral resources in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101. The total indicated mineral resource estimate increased from 52,300,000 pounds of U3O8 to 70,200,000 pounds of U3O8 (the Company's share, 42,100,000 pounds) based on 166,400 tonnes of mineralization at an average grade of 19.13% U3O8. The total inferred mineral resource is now estimated to be 1,100,000 pounds of U3O8 (the Company's share, 700,000 pounds) based on 8,600 tonnes of mineralization with an average grade of 5.80% U3O8.

The Gryphon zone consists of high grade basement hosted uranium mineralization within the K North area, approximately three kilometres northwest of the Phoenix deposit. Drill hole WR-556 was the discovery hole, intersecting 15.3% U3O8 over 4.0 metres approximately 650 metres below surface and 180 metres beneath the sub-Athabasca unconformity. Subsequent drilling on a coarse 50 metre x 50 metre grid defined a substantial zone of uranium mineralization that consists of several parallel, stacked lenses of varying thickness that are concordant with the moderate east dipping stratigraphy and foliation, and plunge moderately to the northeast. The zone measures approximately 450 metres in the along-plunge dimension and 60 metres across the plunge. No mineral resources have been estimated for the Gryphon zone to date.

Historic work

  • The area was previously explored by AGIP Canada Ltd. and SMDC (Cameco). Since 1978 several airborne and ground geophysical surveys have defined 152 kilometres of conductor strike length in fourteen conductive zones.
  • AGIP and Cameco drilled a total of 192 drill holes encountering sub economic uranium mineralization in the M Zone (1986), O Zone (1986) and K Zone (1988). Rare earth element mineralization was also discovered in the MAW Zone (1982).
  • Denison assumed operatorship in 2004 and initially focused on the footwall side of the quartzite ridge (west side of the property) intersecting sub-economic uranium mineralization.
  • In 2008, three resistivity targets were drilled leading to the discovery of the Phoenix deposit.
  • During the period 2008 to 2012, drilling has predominantly focused on defining the Phoenix deposits.
  • Subsequent drilling has discovered 2 additional significant mineralized zones: the 489 Zone and Gryphon.

Potential

Wheeler River is Denison's flagship exploration property. There are many high priority exploration target areas, the most important of which consist of unconformity and basement targets in the Gryphon area. Other targets outside of the Gryphon area include:
  • The Phoenix north area,
  • Twelve kilometres of untested Phoenix-like geology to the south of Phoenix,
  • Large unconformity offsets and mineralized intercepts at Q Central and the O zone,
  • Extensions to 489 zone mineralization,
  • Numerous other partially tested or untested conductors on the property.
Please see Annual Information Form and Quarterly Exploration and Development Updates and Financial Reports for further information.



Maps


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