Denison buys out Cameco in Wheeler River JV

Uranium explorer and developer Denison Mines has increased its interest in the Wheeler River uranium project to 90% by buying out Cameco Corp’s minority interest in the undeveloped high-grade project in the eastern Athabasca basin.

Denison will acquire Cameco’s interest in the joint venture (JV) for 24 615 000 shares at a deemed price of $0.65 a share, valuing the transaction at $16-million, the company announced on Tuesday.

Currently, Denison owns 63.3% of the JV, which under a previous earn-in agreement, will increase to about 66% by the end of 2018, while Cameco’s interest of 26.7% will decrease to about 24% by year-end and JCU's will remain at 10%.

The transaction is subject to certain rights of first refusal that JCU can exercise. In terms of the JV, JCU can purchase its proportional interest of Cameco's share of the Wheeler River JV alongside Denison. Based on Denison's expected ownership interest of about 66%, and JCU's ownership interest of 10%, JCU would have the right to purchase about 13.16% of Cameco's expected 24% interest in the Wheeler River JV. 

Denison noted that should JCU elect to exercise the right of first refusal, the purchase price would reduce to $13.9-million and Denison would own about 86.84%, rather than 90%, of the Wheeler River JV.

“Denison, Cameco and JCU have worked together, since 2004, to advance Wheeler River to the point of being the largest undeveloped uranium project in the eastern Athabasca basin. We believe this transaction represents a unique opportunity to add to our existing controlling interest in the project and offer significant value accretion to Denison shareholders," said Denison president and CEO David Cates.

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