Critical Metals

TSXV: HELI   FRA: 2MC Significant Initial Production Revenue Anticipated in Q12022 CALGARY, AB Dec. 7, 2021 CNW - First Helium Inc. a helium exploration company with access to significant development opportunities across western Canada today announced that it has drilled, completed and tested the Company's first exploration well on the Company's Worsley Property .  Upon completion, the 1-30 flowed 419 barrels per ...

TSXV: HELI   FRA: 2MC

Significant Initial Production Revenue Anticipated in Q1/2022

CALGARY, AB , Dec. 7, 2021 /CNW/ - First Helium Inc. ("First Helium" or the "Company") (TSXV: HELI) (FRA: 2MC), a helium exploration company with access to significant development opportunities across western Canada , today announced that it has drilled, completed and tested the Company's first exploration well on the Company's Worsley Property (the "1-30" ).  Upon completion, the 1-30 flowed 419 barrels per day ("bbl/d") of 35-degree API light oil from the Leduc Formation over a test period of 72 hours on a minimal drawdown. First Helium is preparing to bring the 1-30 into production in early Q1 2022 at a daily production rate of approximately 400 bbl/d.

  • Preparations underway to put the well into production at a cost of approximately CA$500,000, with first cash flow expected by the end of the first quarter of 2022;
  • Oil production from the well will be transported by truck to select receipt terminals and marketed via third-party marketing agreements;
  • Cash flow from the well will be deployed to accelerate the exploration and development of helium gas over the Company's 79,000 acres of land along the Worsley Trend as well as cover ongoing corporate G&A costs; and
  • Based on current pricing for light oil, and an estimated production rate of 400 bbl/d, First Helium estimates the payback of the well to be approximately six months.

Management Commentary

Ed Bereznicki , President & CEO of First Helium stated, "We are extremely pleased with the performance of the 1-30 discovery well. Given current commodity pricing of approximately WTI US$65 to US$70 per barrel, and our estimated field netbacks of CA$45 to CA$50 per barrel, we expect the well to pay out in approximately six months." Mr. Bereznicki added, "Based on the current implied production trading multiples for Canadian light oil producers, this well represents a significant potential increase in asset value for First Helium shareholders. Capturing the aggregate value of this exceptional exploration success, along with potential development locations for shareholders will enhance the Company's ability to deliver on its key strategic objective of exploring for and developing helium production in the Worsley Trend."

David Safton , Vice President, Geoscience commented, "While this drilling result confirms our geologic model over the prolific Worsley Trend and bolsters our confidence in our exploration strategy for the region, it also demonstrates that given the location of the Worsley Trend within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (the "WCSB" ), there is also a real probability of discovering reasonably large economic pools of light oil." Mr. Safton added, "The flow test results indicate a significant commercial accumulation of high-quality oil. While Leduc oil accumulations along the Worsley Trend are not as common as our primary target, Leduc gas, we estimate that approximately 20% of Leduc wells present as oil wells.  Drilling and logging information from the borehole indicate that two additional formations are prospective for helium."

1-30 Highlights

Drilled based on a detailed 3D seismic evaluation, the 1-30 confirms the Company's geologic model over the area; based on the Company's assessment of economic Leduc wells along the Worsley Trend, approximately 20% have been light oil producers, the balance have been natural gas producers.  Key features of the 1-30 include:

  • Production tested at 419 barrels per day of 35-degree API light oil, flowed over a period of 72 hours with minimal drawdown;
  • At a total drill and complete cost of approximately CA$1.9 million, production test results for the 1-30 suggest that it is an exceptional vertical oil well in the WCSB;
  • The 1-30 will provide the Company with flexibility in securing funding to continue with its primary strategic objective which is to explore and develop its landholdings on the helium rich Worsley Trend; and
  • Once production on the 1-30 is established, the Company intends to engage its independent reserve engineering consultant to evaluate the 1-30 well for inclusion in year-end corporate contingent resource and reserve estimates in accordance with 51-101 guidelines.  This would include an independent estimate of the net present value of the reserves associated with the 1-30.

Next Steps

Based on a further evaluation of these exploration results, First Helium will be confirming its drilling program at Worsley for H1 2022, which will include:

  • Prioritizing its drill prospect inventory for helium, favoring locations which may also provide exposure to the potential for light oil accumulations;
  • Selecting its next helium drill location and commencing drilling in early 2022;
  • Evaluating a number of lower cost well bore re-entries on the existing Worsley land base, and on lands acquired during the recently announced land and infrastructure acquisitions; and
  • Evaluating potential light oil development locations on the 1-30 pool in connection with exploring alternatives to monetize 1-30's asset value.

Over the first half of 2022, the Company will evaluate alternatives for monetizing the intrinsic asset value of 1-30 to further its strategic helium exploration and development objectives.  This may include entering into hedging arrangements to guarantee predictable levels of cash flow for ongoing project development and the possible underpinning of gas processing facility financing alternatives.

ABOUT First Helium

First Helium is a helium exploration and development company operating in the Worsley area of Alberta , Canada.  In response to the shifting supply dynamics of the global helium marketplace, First Helium was founded to capitalize on the untapped potential of significant helium resources in Western Canada . Building on its successful discovery well, which has repeatedly production tested at over 1.3% of helium content and 65% natural gas content, and its 1-30 success, First Helium is working to develop its land base of over 79,000 acres along the highly prospective Worsley helium trend, and 276,000 acres of select exploration option lands located in southeast Alberta , near existing helium operations. To establish its operating base, First Helium seeks to market its helium gas into the North American market via term off-take marketing arrangements with established third-party distribution companies.

For more information about the Company, please visit www.firsthelium.com . The Company's final prospectus, financial statements and management's discussion and analysis, among other documents, are all available on its profile page on SEDAR at www.sedar.com .

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Edward J. Bereznicki
President, CEO and Director

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

FORWARD-LOOKING AND CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS

This news release contains certain statements or disclosures relating to First Helium that are based on the expectations of its management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to First Helium which may constitute forward-looking statements or information ("forward-looking statements") under applicable securities laws. All such statements and disclosures, other than those of historical fact, which address activities, events, outcomes, results or developments that First Helium anticipates or expects may, or will, occur in the future (in whole or in part) should be considered forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the words "expect", "will" and similar expressions. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this news release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to the listing of the Common Shares on the Exchange, the use of funds and the Company's strategy.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release reflect several material factors and expectations and assumptions of First Helium including, without limitation: that First Helium will continue to conduct its operations in a manner consistent with past operations; the general continuance of current or, where applicable, assumed industry conditions; availability of debt and/or equity sources to fund First Helium's capital and operating requirements as needed; and certain cost assumptions.

Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and opinions of management at the date the statements are made and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those set out in the Final Prospectus dated June 28, 2021 and filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com First Helium does not undertake any obligation to update forward looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

SOURCE First Helium Inc.

View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2021/07/c3133.html

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First Helium

First Helium

Overview

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 acquired an aggregate of six kilometers of strategic natural gas gathering pipeline assets at Worsley.

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.

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