North American Helium (NAH) has closed a non-brooked common share equity financing of approximately $39m that will be used to construct its second helium purification plant at the Battle Creek field in Southwest Saskatchewan, to fund an active drilling program, and for general corporate purposes.

The news follows a previously secured $24m, reported by gasworld in February.

North American Helium raises $17.8m

“This successful financing allows us to advance the company toward significant long-term sustainable helium production and cash flow,” stated Nicholas Snyder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at NAH. 

“We are in the process of securing multi-year off-take agreements with companies looking for reliable long-term helium supply in North America. This is an exciting time in our history as this facility marks our second successful commercialisation of a new helium field in Canada.”

“The first is the previously announced single- well processing (SWP) unit at our Cypress field in Saskatchewan, which is expected to come online in July of this year. This new facility at Battle Creek represents a step change for NAH, as we transition towards self-sustaining growth for both our organization and the helium industry in Western Canada.”

Marlon McDougall, President and Chief Operating Officer added, “We’ve been planning this for a long time and the purification plant has now been ordered from Air Liquide Advanced Technologies USA LLC.” 

“The Government of Saskatchewan continues to be very supportive of our plans and we have obtained all regulatory approvals to proceed with construction. We anticipate plant equipment delivery and construction to take 12 months with commissioning and start-up scheduled for July 2021.” 

“This facility will have a throughput capacity of 160 mcf/d of purified helium (20 MMcf/d raw gas), making it the largest helium purification system in Canada. Cash flow from this project will allow us to continue organically converting our significant land base of over 3.7 million acres into a development inventory of growth projects, generating significant potential cash flow streams in the future.”

Proven vs Prospective reserves

There are many different terms and phrases to get accustomed to in the helium business, but few as significant as ‘proven’ and ‘prospective’ reserves when it comes to the future potential and validity of a helium project.

Statements often abound about the prospective reserves of a new helium discovery, while others will cite the proven reserves. So, what do they mean and what’s the difference?

Prospective Resource estimates are developed based on a set of assumptions provided to a geological consultant, assumptions which can be highly optimistic.

These figures can generate great scope for future capacities, but such estimates of prospective resources can and often are obtained before any drilling activity has even occurred at the site in question.

Proved Reserves, however, are considered almost definite. These are, as the name implies, proven and more precise than estimates alone. In fact, most investment decisions are based on something called ‘2P Reserves’ – which means Proved + Probable.

It is these proven reserves that are, therefore, often considered to be the realistic hallmark of a successful helium exploration project.