Big Star taking off in Colorado with big helium expansion
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Special Report: Big Star is adding more prospective targets to its portfolio and gearing up for drilling after securing a significant package of helium tenements in Colorado.
Big Star Energy (ASX:BNL) has sailed past its target of securing at least 25,000 gross acres (15,000 net acres) of prospective helium exploration acreage following its acquisition of 63 new leases across Colorado during the State land auction.
The acquisition of the additional 21,824 net acres takes its total acreage under lease to 23,294 net acres and grants the company a further seven helium prospects.
“This is truly a transformational moment for the company,” managing director Joanne Kendrick said.
“These acquisitions at the State land auction, in addition to our existing acreage, bring us to 27,104 gross (23,294 net) acres across nine prospects, significantly exceeding our targets and making us, by far, the dominant player in this highly prospective area.
“Encouragingly, we now have three prospects where our leases include locations sampled during our recent soil gas survey.
“All samples collected on the land that we have now leased returned positive helium readings of between 10-50 per cent above normal atmospheric levels confirming an active helium system in the area.”
The company will now design a five-well program with the drilling permitting kicking off early next year.
“With success in our proposed drilling campaign, any discovered high-concentration helium accumulation would potentially be developed using a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plant,” Kendrick explained.
“A standard-size PSA plant can process 2 million cubic feet of raw gas per day (with 5-10 per cent helium) to a saleable product stream with 98+ per cent helium concentration and requires between 5,000-10,000 acres to fill to capacity.”
The new leases are for an initial five-year term with the right to request a one-year extension and do not require any minimum work commitments.
Helium is in short supply despite being a critical component in modern technology applications such as for magnetic resonance imaging machines and in nuclear medicine.
This has resulted in helium prices rising over the past decade to over 100 times the price of natural gas in the US.