Denison Reports Impressive Financial and Operational Results for 2023 Including Significant Increase in Phoenix ISR Project Economics and a $134 Million Gain on Physical Uranium Holdings



TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – Denison Mines Corp. (‘Denison’ or the ‘Company’) (TSX:DML) (NYSE:DNN) today filed its Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion & Analysis (‘MD&A’) for the year ended December 31, 2023. Both documents are or will be available on the Company’s website at, SEDAR+ (at and EDGAR (at The highlights provided below are derived from these documents and should be read in conjunction with them. All amounts in this release are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated. View PDF version 

The Company reported earnings per share (‘EPS’) from continuing operations of $0.11 for the year ended December 31, 2023, representing a 450% increase from the 2022 EPS of $0.02, driven by the recognition of a significantly larger gain on the Company’s physical uranium holdings offset by operating expenses primarily related to the Company’s advancement of its flagship Wheeler River Project.

A description of the Company’s plans and budget for 2024 (‘2024 Outlook’) is included in the MD&A.

David Cates, President and CEO of Denison commented, “The sheer magnitude of Denison’s numerous operational accomplishments in 2023 reflects an extraordinarily productive time for our Company.  With the completion of the Phoenix Feasibility Study in June, we have cemented Phoenix’s position as a globally leading uranium development project, showcasing Denison’s industry leadership in the de-risking and application of the In-Situ Recovery mining method in the Athabasca Basin.  The results from an updated Pre-Feasibility Study for the Gryphon deposit, completed as part of a newly issued Technical Report for the Company’s flagship Wheeler River property, also demonstrate the significant potential additional leverage that comes from Denison’s diversified portfolio of projects. 

We achieved a notable milestone for the project in 2023 with the signing of a Shared Prosperity Agreement with English River First Nation supporting the development and operation of Wheeler River. The SPA reflects ERFN’s consent to the advancement of the project and acknowledges that Wheeler River is located within ERFN’s Ancestral Lands.  The SPA further describes a mutual commitment to maintain an open, respectful, and cooperative relationship between Denison and ERFN to ensure mutual prosperity as the development and operation of the project progresses.

Significant progress has also been made in support of permitting the planned Phoenix ISR mine, consistent with our plans and objective to achieve first production in 2027 or 2028.  The Company has responded to multiple rounds of technical comments and information requests from both the Provincial and Federal regulators in respect of its draft Environmental Impact Statement and has successfully reduced the number of outstanding requests, including confirmation from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment that it is satisfied with our responses and that Denison may proceed to finalize the EIS for provincial approval.

The evolution of the uranium market in 2023 has been quite interesting and has had a significant positive impact on Denison’s balance sheet.  With the uranium price rising from US$48/lb U3O8 at the start of the year to US$91/lb U3O8 at year end, Denison’s strategic physical uranium holdings have appreciated considerably – driving the Company’s highest earnings per share since 2007.  It is apparent that the uranium market has entered a new phase and we are pleased to see the market recognize the growing scarcity of available future uranium production and that higher prices are required to incentivize sufficient new uranium production to meet current and growing demand.  Importantly, the higher price environment follows an initial wave of long-term contracting that has already incentivized a series of mine restarts from the industry’s incumbent producers.  This transition to a production cost-based market environment is consistent with Denison’s expectations and validates the Company’s tireless work to advance Phoenix towards a final investment decision during several challenging years of negative uranium market conditions. 

Our hard work in past years has paved the way for an incredibly exciting time for our Company as we focus on delivery of our Phoenix ISR project.  As outlined in our 2024 Outlook, the Company’s expected priorities for Phoenix include advancement of detailed design engineering, long-lead procurement, permitting, and project financing.  In parallel, we plan to continue to pursue opportunities to drive additional value from our diverse project portfolio – including preparations for the restart of uranium mining at McClean Lake, a robust exploration program, and advancement of both the Midwest and Waterbury Lake projects through the next stages of technical and economic evaluations.”


Exceptional annual earnings from continuing operations driven by $134 million gain on physical uranium investments

During 2023, the Company’s earnings from continuing operations of $89.4 million ($0.11 per share) were driven by an impressive $134.2 million fair value gain on the Company’s investments in physical uranium. The Company acquired 2.5 million pounds U3O8 in 2021 at an average price of $36.67 per pound U3O8 (US$29.66 per pound U3O8). In the fourth quarter, the Company sold 200,000 pounds U3O8 at an average selling price of $99.50 per pound U3O8 (US$73.38 per pound U3O8), representing a realized gain on sale of $12.6 million (US$8.8 million). As at December 31, 2023, the Company’s remaining uranium portfolio has increased in value by 228% to $120.35 per pound U3O8 (US$91.00 per pound U3O8) for an aggregate value of approximately $276.8 million (US$209.3 million).

Feasibility Study for Wheeler River Phoenix deposit yields significant increase in project economics

In June 2023, Denison released the results of the Feasibility Study (‘Phoenix FS’) completed for In-Situ Recovery (‘ISR’) mining of the high-grade Phoenix uranium deposit (‘Phoenix‘), which is part of the Company’s flagship Wheeler River Project (‘Wheeler River’ or the ‘Project’).

The Phoenix FS demonstrates robust economics including:

Base case pre-tax Net Present Value (‘NPV’) (8%) of $2.34 billion (100% ownership-basis) representing a 150% increase in the base-case pre-tax NPV8% for Phoenix from the 2018 Pre-Feasibility Study (‘2018 PFS’).
Very robust base-case pre-tax Internal Rate of Return (‘IRR’) of 105.9%.
Adjusted base case after-tax NPV8% of $1.56 billion (100% basis) and IRR of 90.0% – with Denison’s effective 95% interest in the project equating to an adjusted base case after-tax NPV8% of $1.48 billion.
Base case pre-tax and after-tax (adjusted) payback period of 10 months – equating to a reduction of 11 months for the pre-tax payback period from the 2018 PFS.
Optimized production profile, based on ISR mine planning efforts evaluating production potential for individual well patterns – resulting in an increase to the planned rate of production by approximately 43% during the first five years of operations.
Estimated pre-production capital costs of under $420 million (100% basis), yielding an impressive base-case after-tax (adjusted) NPV to initial capital cost ratio in excess of 3.7 to 1.
Robust economics that easily absorb cost-inflation and design changes impacting both operating and capital costs, confirming Phoenix’s estimated cash operating and all-in costs to be amongst the lowest-cost uranium mining projects in the world.
Phoenix FS plans aligned and costed to meet or exceed environmental criteria expected to be required by the ongoing regulatory approval process.
Updated mineral resource estimate, reflecting the results of 70 drill holes completed in support of ISR de-risking and resource delineation activities, which has upgraded 30.9 million pounds U3O8 into measured mineral resources.  The updated mineral resource also resulted in an increase to the average grade of the Zone A high-grade domain, which is now estimated to contain 56.3 million pounds U3O8 in Measured and Indicated mineral resources at an average grade of 46.0% U3O8.
Upgraded 3.4 million pounds U3O8 into Proven mineral reserves, representing the equivalent of 85% of production planned during the first calendar year of operations.

Phoenix ISR de-risking completed and focus transitions to engineering design

The Phoenix FS reflects independent third-party validation of the selection of …

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