Wheeler River Project

Denison Mines Corp. (Denison) is proposing to develop an in situ recovery uranium mining and processing operation located in the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan, approximately 600 km north of the city of Saskatoon, 4 km west of Highway 914 and midway between Cameco Corporation's Key Lake Mill and McArthur River Mine. The proposed Wheeler River mine would produce up to 5400 tonnes of U 3 O 8 annually for twenty years.

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, Denison's proposal requires approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). An environmental assessment (EA) conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is required, and an EA decision affirming that the proposed activities will not cause significant adverse environmental effects, before the CNSC can make a licensing decision on this proposal.

This project is also subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the Government of Saskatchewan.


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.

Latest update

March 21, 2022 - The Federal Indigenous Review Team (FIRT) has completed a technical review of Denison Mines Corp.'s draft environmental impact statement (EIS) submission and has found that the information provided does not fully address the regulatory requirements for the environmental assessment (EA). The technical review resulted in 238 information requests (IRs), found in Annex 1, as well as 49 Advice to Proponent comments, found in Annex 2.

The following documents have been posted:

CNSC staff expects Denison to submit complete responses to all IRs and Advice to Proponent comments, along with a revised EIS and supporting documentation. Denison's responses may be reviewed several times to ensure the responses meet requirements. Once the draft EIS meets regulatory requirements, CNSC staff will proceed with developing an EA report.

November 21, 2022 - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is seeking comments during a 90-day public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS), for the proposed Wheeler River Project submitted by the proponent, Denison Mines Corp. At the same time, the CNSC, with the support of the federal-Indigenous Review Team, will begin an EIS technical review.

For the purposes of the public comment period, the draft EIS and supporting documents can be accessed by visiting All Records for the project page. The EIS can also be found under Key Documents, located further down this page.

The draft EIS provides an analysis of the project’s potential environmental effects and measures to mitigate those potential impacts. The public comment period gives Indigenous nations and communities, members of the public, and government departments and agencies an opportunity to submit their views in writing to the CNSC on the adequacy of the information presented in the EIS, as measured against the Generic Guidelines for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (the Guidelines), and on the technical merit of the information presented. The Guidelines provide direction to the proponent and identify the information that is required in the EIS.

Written comments must be submitted by February 18, 2023 to:

Jes Way

Environmental Assessment Officer
Email: wheelerriver@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca

All comments on the draft EIS will be posted on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry in the language in which they were received.

October 24, 2022: On October 21, 2022, Denison Mines Ltd. submitted a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Wheeler River Project to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). CNSC staff are currently conducting a 30-day conformity review to ensure that sufficient information has been submitted in accordance with the CNSC Generic Guidelines for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. If the draft EIS is deemed sufficient, a technical review will commence, along with a 90-day public comment period.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
83 Annex 2 - FIRT Advice to Proponent for the Wheeler River Project Draft EIS PDF (505 KB) March 20, 2023
82 Annex 1 - Information Requests for the Wheeler River Project draft EIS PDF (1.5 MB) March 20, 2023
81 Cover Letter - CNSC to Denison Results of the Federal Indigenous Technical Review of the Wheeler River Project Draft EIS PDF (225 KB) March 20, 2023
67 Wheeler River Project: EIS Executive Summary Poster - Dene Version PDF (845 KB) January 13, 2023
66 Wheeler River Project: EIS Executive Summary Poster - Cree Version PDF (945 KB) January 13, 2023
65 Combined Appendices for the Wheeler River Project Draft EIS PDF (240.5 MB) November 21, 2022
22 Wheeler River Project: Executive Summary for the draft EIS - English Version PDF (10.5 MB) November 21, 2022
20 Wheeler River Project: Draft Environmental Impact Statement PDF (140.2 MB) November 21, 2022
14 Project Description - Wheeler River Project - Revised December 2020 PDF (15.5 MB) December 31, 2020


Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Jes Way, Environmental Assessment Officer
280 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5S9
Telephone: 343-540-6213 or 1-800-668-5284
Email: wheelerriver@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca

  • Location

    • Russell Lake (Saskatchewan)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Nuclear Energy
    • Mines and Minerals
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Denison Mines Corp.
  • Authorities

    • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Assessment Type

    Environmental assessment under CEAA 2012
  • Reference Number


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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