Denison Mines Corp announced on 5 July that its 22.5% owned McClean Lake operations had been granted a 10-year Uranium Mine Operating Licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), valid from 1 July until 30 June 2027.
The McClean Lake operations are located in the eastern the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan and are owned by the McClean Lake Joint Venture (MLJV) – a joint venture between Areva Resources Canada Inc (70%), Denison (22.5%) and OURD (Canada) C. Lt. (7.5%). The operations include several uranium deposits as well as the McClean Lake mill, which is currently operating and processing ore from Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine under a toll milling agreement. Areva operates the MLJV.
The McClean Lake mill is a technologically advanced facility designed to process high-grade uranium ore without dilution. In 2016, the MLJV obtained regulatory approval from the CNSC to increase its annual production capacity of uranium (U3O8) to 24m lbs a year. With the Cigar Lake mine expected to produce approximately 18m lbs a year, the mill currently has an excess licenced processing capacity of up 6m lbs U3O8 annually.
McClean Lake also hosts the Caribou, Sue D, Sue E and McClean North uranium deposits, which together are currently estimated to contain indicated mineral resources of 18m lbs U3O8, plus inferred mineral resources of 7.6m lbs U3O8.