Exploring Highly Prospective Helium Trends in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin
The international supply of helium is expected to run into ongoing supply/demand imbalances in the near future. Why does this matter? The simple answer: helium is needed to supply various industries, including healthcare, semiconductors and aerospace. Given that helium is rare, non-renewable and non-substitutable in many cases, new and significant helium production is strongly needed.
As production of helium in the US becomes diminished attention has turned to adjacently-situated Canada, which has the fifth-largest helium resource in the world. Specifically, the province of Alberta is one of the best jurisdictions for exploration and development because it hosts helium-rich reserves. As a result, companies with projects in Alberta present an exciting opportunity for investors seeking to capitalize on the projected increase in helium demand and strong associated helium prices.
First Helium Inc. (“First Helium” or the “Company”) (TSXV:HELI) is a Canadian exploration and development company specializing in identifying and extracting helium in the province of Alberta. The Company strives to become a leading North American helium producer by leveraging a low-risk development project supported by its existing discovery well and adjacent undeveloped lands. First Helium is working to bring its discovery well into production to establish a strong base of cash flows. The Company’s management team, along with its board of directors and strategic advisory board, are highly experienced with previous success in oil and gas exploration and production, capital markets and finance, helium project development, construction and project management and mining exploration and development.
First Helium’s flagship Worsley project is located north of Grande Prairie, Alberta in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (the “WCSB”). Helium content on the property was tested as high as 1.3 percent based over three long-term test periods. The net present value (“NPV”) of the contingent resource is estimated to be as high as $15.2 million (at a 10 percent discount rate) or $0.23 per basic share outstanding based on an independent engineering report conducted by Sproule Associates Limited (“Sproule”).
In March of 2021, First Helium raised approximately $12 million. The majority of the funds will be used to develop the Company’s Worsley project. The initial discovery well that is located on those lands is expected to be ready to produce helium by the end of 2022, following the installation of a scalable and modular processing facility. The development plan also includes a three-well program that is expected to increase the Company’s inventory of helium volumes at its core production area.
Based on the success of its discovery well, First Helium has now acquired 125 sections of land spanning 32,000 hectares on trend with the discovery well. Most of the additional land was acquired in 2018 at Crown land sales at attractive prices. The Company considers the acquired lands to be highly prospective for helium and on trend with the discovery well at the Worsley Property.
In addition to its core Worsley area, First Helium has an excellent opportunity to establish a significant second core area for exploration and development of helium in another proven productive region of the WCSB. Specifically, First Helium has entered into an agreement with a third-party Canadian company to explore for helium on over 350,000 contiguous hectares of highly prospective land in southern Alberta. Helium content is greater than 0.5 percent in a number of formations over the prospective land base. A key highlight of the agreement is that it provides First Helium access to approximately 360 sections of 3D seismic data and 530 km of 2D seismic data – necessary and typically costly information required for successful helium exploration.
First Helium also exhibits a strong and focused financing strategy. Through its long-term helium production plan, the Company aims to maintain a responsible capital structure and avoid any unnecessarily dilutive financings to develop its lands and facilities. Recently, First Helium fulfilled its goal of achieving near-term liquidity through its listing on the TSX-V on July 12, 2021 following the filing of its Final Prospectus.
First Helium also has a highly attractive valuation relative to its publicly-listed peer group, given its current assets and adjacent land assets. As of July 7, 2021, the Company’s market capitalization was under $20 million and its share structure consists of 65.6 million basic shares outstanding, 6.1 million options and 27.6 million warrants, for a fully-diluted share total of 99.3 million. First Helium’s approximate cash position was also approximately $8.5 million on the same date.
The Company is uniquely positioned for success based on the current timeline for its Worsley project. First Helium will be one of the fastest companies to enter production compared to other existing public companies in the helium industry. It believes that its resources will be low-risk given the existing discovery well and will provide significant helium yields based on current data indications. The Company also plans to set up off-take marketing arrangements with third-party distributors for its helium.
First Helium’s Company Highlights
- First Helium is a Canadian exploration and development company specializing in identifying and extracting helium in the province of Alberta. It is working to become a leading North American helium producer by leveraging a low-risk development project supported by its existing discovery well and adjacent undeveloped lands
- The Company’s flagship Worsley Helium project is located north of Grande Prairie, Alberta in the WCSB. Helium content in its discovery well has been tested as high as 1.3 percent based over three individual long-term test periods.
- The Company is working to bring its discovery well into production to establish a strong cash flow base and expand helium production by drilling an additional three wells on adjacent lands as defined by 3D seismic data.
- The NPV of the contingent resource on the Worsley project is estimated to be as high as $15.2 million (at a 10 percent discount rate) or $0.23 per basic share outstanding, based on a Sproule independent engineering report.
- First Helium has secured 125 sections, or 32,000 hectares of highly prospective helium exploration and development land on trend with the discovery well.
- To augment its Worsley Property, First Helium has entered into an agreement with a third-party Canadian company to explore for helium on over 350,000 contiguous hectares of highly prospective land in southern Alberta. This will provide the Company with an excellent opportunity to establish a significant second core area for exploration and development of helium in another region of the WCSB that has been proven to be productive.
- First Helium is listed on the TSX-V under the “HELI” stock symbol.
- The Company’s management team is highly experienced with previous success in oil and gas exploration and production, capital markets and finance, helium project development, construction and project management and mining exploration and development.
First Helium’s Key Projects
Worsley Helium Project
The Company’s flagship Worsley project is located north of Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. The property is situated in the geological WCSB and features a pre-existing well originally drilled by a previous operator targeting natural gas.
Development Opportunities at Worsley Trend
Historical testing data of the well revealed indications of the presence of helium. Upon further testing by First Helium, the Company acquired the property and this well became known as its “discovery well”. In summary, the discovery well has been tested over three long-term test periods at helium content of 1.3 percent. An independent engineering report conducted by Sproule, a third-party evaluator, estimated a best-case NPV of the contingent resource to be $15.2 million (at a 10 percent discount rate) or $0.23 per basic share.
First Helium expects its Worsley project to be fully funded and ready to produce helium by the end of 2022, following the installation of a scalable and modular processing facility, with preliminary engineering on the facility already having been completed.
First Helium’s Management & Board
Vance Loeber — Founder
Vance Loeber has over 30 years of international business experience. Loeber has been involved in the financing and promotion of early-stage to production level resource companies for over 20 years. Loeber was directly involved in the launch of the US Silver mine which is currently the largest pure silver mine in the United States.
He was one of the founders of Sandspring Resources, which raised over $60 million and took the Toroparu gold deposit in British Guyana to over 10 million ounces. His extensive network is focused on Europe, Asia and North America where he matches investors with the capital requirements of public companies. Loeber was one of the founders of Carlisle Goldfields, recently taken over by Alamos Gold at over a 100% premium to the market.
Ed Bereznicki — President and CEO, Director
Ed Bereznicki’s extensive industry experience includes various leadership positions at successful companies. Bereznicki is a former senior vice president of MNP Corporate Finance Inc., former director of Athabasca Minerals Inc., former managing director of Raymond James Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed Raymond James Financial Inc. and former chief financial officer and executive vice president at Lone Pine Resources.
Bereznicki’s experience includes over 15 years of Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, and Financial Advisory Expertise as Senior Energy Investment Banker, including over $20 Billion of equity and convertible debt raised for Energy Sector, including successful start-ups and IPOs. He was also involved in over 30 successful M&A transactions totaling more than $4.5 Billion in value. He is a seasoned Energy Executive with E&P, risk management, operations, and pipelines experience, domestic and international.
Bereznicki is also a Life Member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Bereznicki holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta.
Robert J. Scott — CFO and Director
Robert J. Scott is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of professional experience in corporate finance, accounting, merchant and commercial banking. He has served in management and on the boards of several Canadian companies. He is currently the CFO at Riverside Resources and Northair Silver Corp., and a director of Entourage Metals Ltd. Scott is also a co-founder and a director of Pan American Hydro Corporation – a private company involved in developing small hydro projects in Latin America. Scott earned his CA designation in 1998, his CFA designation in 2002 and has a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.
David L. Safton — VP Geosciences
David Safton was an independent director at Top Strike Resources Corp. and the president and CEO at Sage Oil & Gas, Inc. Safton received his undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a graduate degree from the University of Aberdeen.
Shaun Wyzykoski — VP of Engineering
Shaun Wyzykoski is a Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Wyzykoski served as the vice president of engineering at Orlen Upstream Canada. Wyzykoski was a founding member and vice president of engineering at Fairmount Energy Inc. Wyzykoski has previously held positions at Crescent Point Energy Trust and Compton Petroleum Inc., including the role of vice president of engineering at Trioil Resources.
Todd Holmstrom — Independent Director
Todd Holmstrom has over thirty years of experience in projection execution, engineering, procurement, construction and product design, development and manufacturing. Holmstrom’s industry experience includes petrochemical, mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, commercial water and wastewater, wireless telecommunications, and medical devices.
Holmstrom is an experienced leader with proven success developing business strategies in private and public sector companies resulting in significant earnings growth and increased share value. Holmstrom is highly skilled in facilitating organizational change leading to energized, focused and successful people. Holstrom has a proven ability to solve highly complex product and process issues by applying Six Sigma processes. Holmstrom is a Registered Professional Engineer with APEGA and a Trained Project Management Professional through PMI.
Holmstrom is the current CEO of waterStrider Treatment Inc. Holmstrom has held previous positions, including vice president of industrial construction at Stuart Olson Inc., business strategy consultant and senior vice president of operations at Thermal Energy Services Inc., president of Lockerbie & Hole Contracting Ltd., president of Intelliwave Technologies Inc., vice president of industrial construction at Flint Energy Services and senior manager of new product introduction at Nortel.
Cal Watson — Independent Director
Cal Watson received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in 1985. Watson is currently the president of Nobilis Energy Consulting Ltd. and the executive advisor at ACM Facility Safety. Watson spent more than six years with Devon Energy, serving as the vice president of production, the vice president of thermal heavy oil operations, the general manager of thermal heavy oil and the operations manager of thermal heavy oil.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with First Helium and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.