Solo Oil Plc (LON:SOLO) Executive Chairman Neil Ritson talks to DirectorsTalk about its 15% owned Helium One prospect in Tanzania. Neil updates us on company progress, operations and the possibility of an IPO in Australia. Neil also updates us on other investments held in Tanzania and what shareholders can look forward to over the coming months.
Solo Oil Plc announced today the recent progress being reported by Helium One Limited (“Helium One”), the pure play helium explorer in Tanzania in which Solo currently holds a 15% equity interest.
Helium One has informed its shareholders of various financing options available to fund ongoing exploration activities. One of these options may involve undertaking an initial public offering (“IPO”) on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) (the “Listing”). To this end, Helium One has appointed PAC Partners Pty Limited (“PAC Partners”) to review the options associated with a possible IPO and Listing on ASX.
Whilst the exact timing and nature of the capital raising is yet to be finalised the current expectation is that Helium One will target a listing in mid-2018, should this ultimately be the preferred financing path.
PAC Partners is a leading stockbroker for emerging companies in Australia, having raised over A$350m in new equity in 2017 and led a number of successful IPO’s. PAC Partners focuses on a limited number of industry sectors, one of which is energy and resources.
Helium One has also reported significant operational progress with the ongoing reprocessing of seismic data adding improved resolution and allowing further investigation of the observed direct helium indicators (“DHIs”); such as bright spots. Once the present reprocessing is completed a full reinterpretation of all relevant data, including the airborne gravity gradiometry, will be undertaken and a new resource report prepared. Helium One is presently planning for drilling on the Rukwa project in the second half of 2018.
The fundamentals of helium demand remain strong with Qatari output restricted by the border restrictions in place with Saudi Arabia and the US Federal Reserve still anticipated to close in 2021. Prices of bulk liquid helium have recently risen and as yet no new material sources of helium have been reported, despite an uptick in exploration efforts. Helium One also notes that other known projects where helium potential has been identified by other operators are not on the scale of Rukwa, which has close to 100 billion cubic feet (“bcf”) of independently estimated helium resource potential in association with inert nitrogen and at helium concentrations up to over 10% by volume.
Neil Ritson, Solo’s Chairman commented: “We are delighted to see Helium One taking considerable strides forward both corporately and operationally. Helium One’s possible IPO represents a real catalyst in terms of their growing profile and their ability to fund an active near-term work programme in Tanzania, which is expected to see drilling later this year.”
Tom Abraham-James, Helium One’s Chief Executive added: “We have been reviewing our long-term funding options for some time and are beginning to focus on an IPO as most suitable for us. The ASX is a proven capital market and one in which our team has considerable experience. We would like to thank Solo for their continued support and guidance and look forward to an exciting year ahead for Helium One and all its shareholders.”