Denison Mines to Buy Fission Assets for About $71 Million

Denison Mines Corp. agreed to buy some uranium development and exploration properties from Fission Energy Corp. for about C$70 million ($71 million) in a bid to expand its holdings in Canada’s Athabasca Basin.

Fission shareholders will get 0.355 of a Denison share for each share of Fission based on yesterday’s closing price, Toronto-based Denison said today in a statement. If completed, the deal will leave Fission stockholders with 11 percent of Denison and certain other assets that aren’t part of the transaction. Fission rose to its highest in more than 10 months.

“This transaction further satisfies our corporate objective to become the leading explorer in the Athabasca Basin through continued growth and consolidation of strategically located assets,” Ron Hochstein, Denison’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Denison is stepping up its exposure to Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, home to the world richest high-grade uranium deposits, after last year selling its U.S. unit to Energy Fuels Inc. Speculation at the time was that Denison was positioning itself to be acquired.

Denison is buying Kelowna, British Columbia-based Fission’s 60 percent stake in the Waterbury Lake uranium project in Saskatchewan, exploration interests in other properties in the eastern part of the Athabasca Basin, stakes in two Namibian joint ventures and assets in Quebec and Nunavut.

The deal also creates a separate company, or Newco, to hold “certain other” Fission assets, including a 50 percent stake in the Patterson Lake South uranium property on the basin’s western flank.

Denison rose 1.4 percent to C$1.48 at the close in Toronto. Fission gained 22 percent to 78 Canadian cents, its highest since March 2.