President & CEO, Denison Mines
Denison Mines’ innovative new approach to uranium mining is providing fuel to power Canada’s nuclear renaissance.
About 15 per cent of Canada’s electricity currently comes from nuclear power and provinces across the country — including Ontario — are pushing to increase their nuclear capacity. Nuclear power plants are essentially pollution free and are fueled by uranium, making this natural resource particularly essential. With significant growth expected in nuclear energy, companies like Denison Mines are working hard to modernize uranium mining, making it more sustainable and efficient than ever.
Canada is home to some of the richest uranium deposits in the world, which are located in the Athabasca Basin region of northern Saskatchewan. In this very region, Denison is advancing its 95 per cent owned Wheeler River Project, which is particularly notable because it’s expected to be developed using the in-situ recovery (ISR) mining method — a bold step that could change the future of Canadian uranium mining.
With significant growth expected in nuclear energy, companies like Denison Mines are working hard to modernize uranium mining…
ISR mining involves the controlled injection of a liquid mining solution underground through a series of wells. The mining solution is moved through the ore body using low levels of pumping pressure, dissolving uranium along the way. Then the solution and the dissolved uranium are pulled back up to surface for processing. ISR is different from other mining methods because all the activity is managed from the surface and it doesn’t create conventional tailings.
While ISR mining is widely used outside of Canada, the Wheeler River Project marks the first time this method will be used for uranium mining in Canada. With no conventional tailings, no large waste rock piles, and no open pits or major earthworks — making it much easier to reclaim the site when the operation is finished — ISR mining is progressive and environmentally responsible.
Setting a new standard
The ISR method is expected to reduce the footprint and intensity of mining – helping to maintain natural habitats, which is good news for all Denison’s partners, including local Indigenous communities. The Wheeler River Project is located within the traditional territory and/or Ancestral Lands of several Indigenous Peoples, with whom Denison Mines is working closely to establish a positive legacy through the development of the project. The Project is also highly economical, with the ISR mining method helping to deliver economics that are projected to rival the lowest-cost uranium mines in the world.
Through this exciting project — which has a projected completion date in the middle of the second half of the decade — Denison is setting a superior standard for environmental sustainability for uranium mining in Canada and helping to power our mining industry to sustainably provide fuel for a growing global fleet of pollution-free nuclear power plants. Uranium mining in Canada contributes to the global fight against climate change, and has a bright, sustainable future thanks to this innovative company.
Learn more about the future of uranium mining at redefiningmining.ca.