Drilling continues on the Wheeler River project in 2013, with a 25,000 metre winter and summer drill program planned along with geophysical surveys at a total cost of CAD$6,800,000 (Denison's share CAD$4,100,000). The 2013 programs will have a greater emphasis on exploration compared to the past several years, both proximal to Phoenix and at other target areas. A small component of in-fill drilling is also planned to further expand and upgrade the Phoenix mineral resource estimates.
For the entire Athabasca property portfolio, a total of 44,100 metres of diamond drilling is planned on eight different properties in 2013. This work will be complemented by numerous ground and airborne geophysical programs, resulting in exploration activity on a total of 11 different properties during the year.
In Zambia, exploration expenditures of $1,097,000 and $3,627,000 for the three months and year ended December 31, 2012 were incurred on the Company's Mutanga project compared to $445,000 and $2,396,000 for the three months and year ended December 31, 2011. In early 2012, the Company estimated an inferred mineral resource for the newly discovered Dibwe East deposit, in accordance with NI 43-101, consisting of 28,246,000 pounds U3O8 contained in 39,800,000 tonnes grading 322 ppm U3O8 (above a cutoff grade of 100 ppm U3O8). A total of 18,160 metres of exploration drilling was completed in 137 drill holes in 2012. Drilling in 2012 targeted several areas, including Mutanga East, Dibwe North and the Dibwe-Mutanga corridor, plus deeper targets beneath known mineralization at the Dibwe and Mutanga deposits. Promising intersections were obtained at Mutanga East and along the Dibwe-Mutanga corridor, demonstrating the potential of these areas.
In Mongolia, exploration expenditures on the Company's Gurvan Saihan Joint Venture ("GSJV") properties totaled $25,000 and $3,156,000 for the three months and year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $200,000 and $3,971,000 for the three months and year ended December 31, 2011. A 29,700 metre drill program was completed on the Urt Tsav and Ulziit properties in 2012 with the drilling on Ulziit approximately doubling the defined extent of the mineralized system.
The Company currently has an 85% interest in the GSJV in Mongolia. The other party to the joint venture is the Mongolian government with a 15% interest. In March 2012, the Company acquired the 15% interest in the GSJV held by Geologorazvedka, a Russian entity, in exchange for cash consideration of $742,000 and the release of Geologorazvedka's share of unfunded joint venture obligations. Under the Nuclear Energy Law of Mongolia, the Mongolian participant in the GSJV is entitled to hold a 34% to 51% interest in the GSJV, depending on the amount of historic exploration that was funded by the Government of Mongolia, to be acquired at no cost to the Mongolian participant. This interest would be held by Mon-Atom LLC, the Mongolian state-owned uranium company. The Company and Mon-Atom are proceeding with restructuring the GSJV to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Energy law, pending receipt of mining licences and government reviews and authorizations. The final restructuring of the GSJV is expected to result in the Company having its interest reduced to 66%. Discussions are on-going and the timing for completion of the restructuring is uncertain at this time.
On June 29, 2012, the Company and EFR completed a transaction (the "EFR Transaction") whereby EFR acquired the U.S. Mining Division from Denison in exchange for consideration equal to 425,440,872 common shares of EFR (the "EFR Share Consideration"). Immediately following the closing of the sale transaction, Denison completed the remaining steps in the Plan of Arrangement (the "Denison Arrangement") to reorganize its capital and distribute the EFR Share Consideration to Denison shareholders on a pro rata basis as a return of capital. Upon completion of the Denison Arrangement, Denison shareholders of record on June 29, 2012 received approximately 1.106 common shares of EFR for each common share of the Company they owned while retaining their Denison shares.
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