Denison Mines Corp (NYSEAMERICAN: DNN) is headed up in the market this morning after announcing that it has entered into a Participation and Funding Agreement with the English River First Nation. Here’s what’s going on:
Denison Mines Announces Agreement
In the press release, Denison Mines said that it entered into a Participation and Funding Agreement and Letter of Intent with the English River First Nation. The Agreement and LOI are centered around the advancement of the proposed in-situ recovery uranium mining operation at Denison’s 90% owned Wheeler River Uranium Project.
The Project is located in the eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin region in northern Saskatchewan. Moreover, Denison and English River First Nation have also entered into an Exploration Agreement surrounding Denison’s exploration and evaluation activities within traditional territories of English River First Nation.
In the release, Denison said that these agreements reflect its goal of operating a business in a progressive and sustainable manner that respects English River First Nation rights and advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Importantly, these agreements provide English River First Nation with economic opportunities while establishing a foundation for future collaboration in an authentic, cooperative, and respectful way.
In a statement, David Cates, President and CEO at Denison Mines, had the following to offer:
Many of Denison’s interests in the Athabasca Basin region, including our flagship Wheeler River Project, are situated in the traditional territory of ERFN. We acknowledge and respect the rights of ERFN and are pleased to formalize our Company’s effort to work with ERFN in the pursuit of achieving (1) a genuine understanding of the interests of the Nation, and (2) meaningful mutual benefits from Denison’s activities. We feel strongly that the future of the Wheeler River Project will be greatly enhanced by partnering with ERFN – ensuring Indigenous knowledge regarding historical and contemporary land use, environmental knowledge, and environmental stewardship associated with ERFN’s connection to this land, are all embedded as essential components of the EA process and project designs. Together, Denison and ERFN are putting reconciliation principles into action and contributing to the important evolution of Indigenous and industry relationships in the province of Saskatchewan.
The above Statement was followed up by Jerry Bernard, Chief of English River First Nation. Here’s what he had to say:
We look forward to building on our positive relationship with Denison Mines. The participation and exploration agreements underscore the importance of starting in a good way. That means recognizing and considering ERFN’s rights and traditional land and resources uses in all proposed activities on our ancestral lands. The agreements will provide benefits for our community by providing employment and contracting opportunities, annual financial contributions and the ability to help shape project activities to minimize environmental impacts.
All told, the news released by Denison Mines this morning proved to be overwhelmingly positive. The Agreements set the stage for more mining operations while doing so in a way that supports the surrounding communities of the territories the company intends to work within. All in all, this is great news, making DNN stock one to watch closely.