Pulsar Helium Inc’s Topaz Minnesota Project Is Well Positioned to Help Alleviate Global Shortage

Published on: May 8, 2024
Author: Caroline Kong

In February this year, Pulsar Helium Inc (Pulsar) announced extraordinarily high helium concentrations of up to 13.8% from its Jetstream #1 appraisal well drilled at its Topaz project in Minnesota. This has positioned Topaz as the highest concentration helium discovery in North America and expectations are high for its upcoming work programs.

Cliff Cain, CEO of the Edelgas Group (an international gas advisor firm that is engaged by Pulsar) commented: “Comparing this to our extensive database for helium occurrences around the world, we are pleased to say the results from the Jetstream #1 appraisal well are the highest helium concentrations that we have ever seen. This marks an important milestone for Pulsar and we are delighted with such a positive outcome for our client.”

Jetstream #1 is located only 50ft from LOD-6, a hole drilled in 2011 by a mineral exploration team looking for nickel. Hole LOD-6 unexpectedly encountered a gas accumulation at 1,760 feet below ground level. After the well blew the core barrel and drilling fluid out of the hole the gas was sampled, primarily to see if it was explosive, and it was found to contain approximately 10.5 % helium by concentration.

The gas flowed freely for 4 days, with no apparent decrease in pressure until it was capped. A recent interview conducted with David Oliver, who helped cap LOD-6 described the venting gas as “screaming like a jet engine” (Sce: youtu.be/Nyw3YIpnsrI).

Pulsar is the first mover in the exciting new helium district of Minnesota, having drilled Jetstream #1, it has also acquired important geophysical data in the Topaz project and is in the process of acquiring further seismic, gravity and magnetic geophysical data. This broad compilation of data has suggested additional areas of potential interest as-such the Company has been actively consolidating its land position.

Further well operations will occur at Jetstream #1 this month (May 2024) with acquisition of additional down-hole logging data and pressure build-up and flow testing operations. Upon completion of the May work program at Jetstream #1, the data gathered by Pulsar will be shared with Sproule International Limited, an independent consulting and advisory firm, to conduct a resource calculation update for the Topaz project.

Why does this matter?

In the past 25 years, production of helium in the USA has decreased. In 1999 the USA produced 118M cubic meters, in 2023 just 59M cubic meters were produced (Sce: tinyurl.com/3px3kf3h). In contrast, 2023 saw the highest consumption of helium in the USA for over a decade, with the aerospace, electronics and medical sectors by far the biggest consumers (Sce: tinyurl.com/yus757xp).

Until recently, the USA was the largest supplier of helium, with the world’s largest stand-alone repository, the Federal Helium Reserve. Earlier this year, the Federal Helium Reserve (est. 1925) was privatized, but is a former shadow of itself, once holding over 44 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of helium, but since plummeting to approximately 4 Bcf today.

As the global helium shortage persists, the world becomes more reliant on non-USA sources. The Russian natural gas company Gazprom is working toward achieving full operational capacity in 2025. Meanwhile Qatar is now the world’s largest helium producing nation. Both these sources contain inherent risk for helium consumers in the USA, including distance to travel (helium is a small atomic size and likes to leak), and geopolitical risk (the Qatar diplomatic crisis of 2017-2021, and sanctions on Russia).

As global demand for helium continues to increase unabated, Pulsar is advancing its discovery at the Topaz project in Minnesota to determine its potential to contribute to USA supply and provide a safer domestic alternative for consumers. As recently detailed in the MIT Tech Review (Sce: bit.ly/3TLcnB5), the era of cheap helium is over with its price nearly doubling since 2020 from $7.57 per cubic meter (Pcm) to highs of $14 Pcm in 2023 (Sce: bit.ly/49wtFb2).

Research conducted by the Edelgas Group suggests that global helium requirement is estimated to increase from 6.1 Bcf in 2023 to 8.1 Bcf in 2030, with the following fast growth sectors requiring significant quantities of helium:

Medical Technology: Helium plays a crucial role in medical treatments requiring enhanced oxygen intake, such as addressing upper airway obstruction in conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Additionally, helium is essential for the operation of MRI scanners, where liquid helium cools the superconducting magnets within the machines. Notably, the medical sector stands as one of the foremost consumers of helium, highlighting its pivotal role in advancing healthcare technology.

Consumer technology: Helium is essential in the manufacturing and assembly of many electronic devices. It serves multiple critical roles in semiconductor fabrication, crucially important chips which can be found in thousands of products including artificial intelligence (AI), computers, smartphones, appliances, gaming hardware and household entertainment systems. Helium is also employed as a purge gas to establish clean environments, eliminating contaminants and ensuring controlled atmospheres, vital during microchip manufacturing.

Aerospace: Liquid helium is used as a pressure agent for cryogenic fuel tanks in space rockets. As the rocket burns fuel, the fuel tank is purged with liquid helium to maintain pressure. When you see a rocket on the launch pad with gas emanating from its side, it is likely to be helium boiling at -268.9ºC.

In addition to the primary markets as listed above, helium is in increasing demand across a variety of burgeoning frontier markets including:

Drones: Drone electronics, including flight controllers, sensors, communication systems, and navigation modules all require the integration of semiconductors enabling drones to operate autonomously, navigate complex environments, and execute missions with precision. Advanced semiconductor technologies, such as microprocessors and integrated circuits empower drones with computational capabilities enabling real-time data processing, image recognition, and decision-making algorithms.

Lasers: Widely used across the manufacturing, transportation and military sectors, helium is integral for many types of laser, critical for cooling, ranging and targeting. The fiber laser market is projected to grow by 145% between 2019 – 2030 (Sce: tinyurl.com/24n29rx2).

Data storage: By 2025 it is estimated that 181 x zettabytes (181 x trillion gigabytes) will be created, captured, copied & consumed globally. Since 2013, cost-effective & highly efficient helium hard drives have been essential for powering high-volume data storage centers (Sce: tinyurl.com/bdzzzan9).

Robotics: Helium is used extensively in the manufacturing of semiconductors which play a crucial role in robotics. Semiconductors (specifically microcontrollers and microprocessors) constitute the brain of a robot. They’re responsible for processing instructions, controlling movements, and managing various tasks enabling robots to execute complex algorithms and make decisions based on sensor input.

Renewables: Battery technology is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the ‘Green Energy Transition’. Battery storage technologies enable energy from renewables to be stored, then released when the power is needed most, helping maintain balance between supply and demand within the power system. Helium is commonly used in leak detection tests during battery cell, module & pack production processes.

For further information, please contact:

Marc Farrington

Pulsar Helium Inc (TSXV: PLSR | OTCQB: PSRHF)

Public Relations

Phone: +44 7835 357200

Email: [email protected]

X: @pulsarhelium | #pulsarhelium

If you are interested in helium and clean energy technology, please pay close attention to Pulsar Helium Inc. (TSXV:PLSR).

Disclaimer: NAI is being compensated for this content. Materials contained in this content are for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute an offering of securities in any jurisdiction. Nothing on this content should be construed as an offer, solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell products or securities.

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