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Uranium developer Denison says Phoenix feasibility field test is fully permitted

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(Kitco News) - Denison Mines (TSX: DML) announced today it has received a License to Possess, Use, Store and Transfer a Nuclear Substance from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for the In-Situ Recovery Feasibility Field Test planned for the Phoenix uranium deposit at the company's 95% owned Wheeler River project.

Denison Mines said that the receipt of this license, together with the previously announced approval from the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment, means that the Feasibility Field Test (FFT) is fully permitted to proceed as per the company's plans.

In accordance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Nuclear Substance License allows Denison to possess the uranium collected from the operation of the FFT, store the uranium on site, and handle / transfer the recovered material for laboratory analyses, the company added.

President and CEO David Cates stated, "With the successful receipt of a Nuclear Substance License from the CNSC, our technical and regulatory teams have again demonstrated their ability to navigate the applicable regulatory regimes to support our plans to carry out a first-of-its-kind test of the ISR uranium mining method in Canada. 

"Our focus has now transitioned to the timely completion of the construction and operation of the FFT, which represents a very exciting time in the company's modern history and is expected to generate further important de-risking milestones for the planned Phoenix ISR operation through the balance of the year."

Denison is a uranium exploration and development company with interests focused in the Athabasca Basin region of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The company's flagship project is Wheeler River, the largest undeveloped uranium project in the infrastructure rich eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin region, in northern Saskatchewan.

The project's combined Indicated Mineral Resources amounted to 132.1 million pounds U3O8 (1,809,000 tonnes at an average grade of 3.3% U3O8), plus combined Inferred Mineral Resources amounted to 3.0 million pounds U3O8 (82,000 tonnes at an average grade of 1.7% U3O8).

A PFS was completed for Wheeler River in 2018, considering the potential economic merit of developing the Phoenix deposit as an ISR operation and the Gryphon deposit as a conventional underground mining operation.

The Phoenix ISR operation is estimated to have a stand-alone base case pre-tax NPV of $930.4 million (8% discount rate), IRR of 43.3%, initial pre-production capital expenditures of $322.5 million, and industry-leading average operating costs of US$3.33/lb U3O8. 

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