Weekly Market Recap (Mar. 22) – Global “Helium Crisis”: The Quiet Rise of the “Golden Gas”

Global "Helium Crisis": The Quiet Rise of the "Golden Gas"
Published on: Mar 22, 2024

This week, the President and CEO of Pulsar Helium Inc. (TSXV: PLSR, FRA: Y3K), a company specializing in helium exploration and development, Thomas Abraham-James, once again sat down for an interview with “METALS 100” to share exciting company updates.

Helium is not just used for inflating balloons; its applications are highly advanced and irreplaceable, including in medical imaging for MRI, optical fibers and display screens in the electronics industry, the semiconductor sector, rocket launches, and nuclear research. Helium has become one of the most favored gases in global manufacturing, with Canada even listing it as a “Critical Mineral.”

In the 1950s and 1960s, some natural gas fields containing helium were not exploited due to low helium prices. However, with the price surge, many primary helium producers have started re-exploring these old fields. By the end of February, Thomas Abraham-James stated that the helium discovery at Iron Range in Minnesota could potentially become one of the most significant global findings. Recent lab results show a high concentration of helium in the evaluation well Jetstream #1 at the company’s flagship project, Topaz.

However, tracking helium prices is challenging. Unlike widely traded commodities like copper and gold, helium procurement is done through negotiations under confidentiality agreements, thus lacking market transparency.

Due to supply shortages over the past decade, helium prices have seen a noticeable increase in recent years. The first publicly traded helium company, Royal Helium Ltd (TSXV: RHC), disclosed sales contracts indicating helium contract prices of $450 per thousand cubic feet in 2022, rising to $625 by 2023. Industry data shows that helium prices were around $100 in 2012 and reached $400 by 2021.

Regarding investments, there are currently only about 20 publicly traded helium stocks, with no related exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Despite this, it does not hinder the significant surge in helium stock prices. As of March 15, 2024, Pulsar Helium’s stock price has surged over 300% year-to-date.

Helium Mining Natural Gas