Noble Helium Pty Ltd Limited


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Investment Memo: Noble Helium Pty Ltd (ASX:NHE) - LIVE

Opened: 08-Apr-2022

Shares Held at Open: 3,925,926

What does NHE do?

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) is a helium exploration company working to define a helium resource in the East African Rift (Tanzania). If proven, this resource has the potential to be the world’s third largest helium reserve behind the nations USA and Qatar, and the largest ever reserve held by a single company.

What is the macro theme?

Helium is a critical part of the semiconductor (computer chip) supply-chain and cannot be substituted across most of its other industrial uses. We expect helium demand from semiconductors to increase rapidly as the world becomes more technologically advanced and countries seek to localise supply.

Helium prices have increased five fold in 2022 on supply chain issues, geopolitical tension and demand. We expect current price pressures to highlight the importance of helium, and improve investor sentiment around helium companies.

Why did we invest in NHE?

East African Rift System

Top helium experts highly rate NHE’s geology: - two prominent helium experts think the East African Rift is the best geology in the world for helium and it could house a globally significant resource. (NHE’s Mean unrisked prospective volume of 175.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) across nine structures).

String of Pearls

NHE is aiming to identify drill targets from a series of leads across similar geology in the East African Rift system - known as a “String of Pearls”. If NHE drills the first “pearl” and it turns out successful, it implies all the other leads (pearls) could be successful too. This is similar to what happened to Africa Oil Corp’s “String of Pearls” back in 2012 when it surged 1,200% on a successful result from its first drill in a string of targets in the East African Rift System.

Our past success with basin opening exploration

Some of our best investing success has come from major drilling events in frontier exploration - companies like Elixir Energy, Invictus Energy, 88 Energy and our first ever Top Pick from many years ago - Africa Oil Corp in the East African Rift System. We hope to replicate that success with NHE.

Founder owned and operated

NHE CEO Justyn Wood built the company over many years and holds more than a third of the company’s shares, so is heavily incentivised to deliver value for shareholders. Justyn brings significant East African Rift System experience. He played a key role in opening up the region’s geology with breakthrough exploration success in 2006 with Hardman Resources (~2c to $2.50). He knows the ground NHE is working with.

Exclusive rights to global “Helium Atlas”

Years ago NHE commissioned and licensed the world’s first “helium atlas” from two of the foremost helium experts. Basically it’s many years of research into a detailed database of all the helium prospects in the world and is how NHE first settled on Tanzania. We think access to these experts and their “helium atlas” will also help NHE in selecting future helium project acquisitions.

What do we expect NHE to deliver in 2022?

Objective #1: Target generation to produce two drillable targets

With drilling planned for late 2023, over the course of 2022 NHE will use modern exploration techniques to acquire data and then interpret that data to identify drill targets during the course of 2022.


Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)

3D seismic (Q2-Q4 2022)

Geochemistry survey (Q2-Q3 2022)

2022 Bonus: Resource re-quantification (Q4?)

2022 Bonus: finalise drill targets (Q4?)

Objective #2: Acquire more Tanzanian permits, strengthen in-country presence

NHE has 14 permits with 9 more to be acquired covering ~4000km2 in total. Along with acquiring these permits, we expect NHE to increase its stakeholder engagement efforts and add to their Tanzanian team:


Finalise licence areas (9 Prospecting Licences) (Q2 2022)

Stakeholder engagement (Ongoing)

Tanzanian team additions (Ongoing)

Objective #3: Explore new opportunities

With expert advice and based on their exclusive licence to the “helium atlas”, NHE may look to acquire another helium exploration asset.


Acquire a new asset

What could go wrong?

Permitting risk

While NHE currently holds 14 Prospecting Licences, there are 9 more yet to be granted and there is a risk that these additional licences are not granted.

Exploration risk

NHE may fail to find commercial quantities of helium despite having promising geology on its side. For example, 3D seismic data may not yield the drillable targets they are looking for.

Underlying commodity risk

Helium prices may fall as additional supply comes on line, forcing down prices and reducing investor appetite for new helium resources.

Country risk

Tanzania is an emerging resource jurisdiction and although a change in government has improved the ability to invest in Tanzania, local politics, changes to mining regulations and royalty systems may be a factor in NHE’s future prospects.

Operational risk

If NHE doesn’t achieve operational milestones before the start of the Tanzanian wet season, they could miss the start of the drilling window in 2023, leading to a 12 month delay in drilling. Weather is a factor in NHE’s prospects.

What is our investment plan?

As with our other previous exploration stage oil & gas investments (Helium is a gas) we invest early, well before the main drilling event and will aim to be free carried and have taken profit before the drill results are announced in 2023.

We look to hold at least 50% of our initial position into the first drill result and this is usually a ~3 year strategy. In the case of NHE, this investment plan is truncated to ~1.5 years.

NOTE: Our selling plan must adhere to our trading blackout policy and IPO escrow conditions shown below:

Disclosure: S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (The Company) and Associated Entities own 3,925,926 NHE shares and 1,851,852 options, The Company’s staff own 40,000 NHE shares at the time of publishing this article. The Company has been engaged by NHE to share our commentary on the progress of our investment in NHE over time.

Investment Milestones for NHE

✅ Initial Investment: @ 14.71c
🔲 Top Slice
🔲 Free Carry
🔲 Take Profit
🔲 Price increases 300% from initial entry
🔲 Price increases 500% from initial entry
🔲 Price increases 1000% from initial entry
🔲 12 Month Capital Gain Discount
🔲 Hold remaining Position for next 2+ years

NHE's All-Important 3D Seismic Commences

ASX:NHE Sep 28, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Target generation to produce two drillable targets
Milestone 1: 3D seismic (Q2-Q4 2022)

A positive surprise this morning - Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) has started the 3D seismic survey over the company’s North Rukwa helium project in Tanzania.

In keeping with NHE’s usual tight ship operations, NHE managed to start a week early too.

As the capstone on what has been a successful exploration program so far, the 3D seismic campaign aims to deliver “maximum pre-drill confidence'.

NHE’s 3D seismic is third layer of surveying done to identify a drill target for its frontier helium exploration in Tanzania:

This is what the first seismic shot collected from NHE’s project looks like:

Could this be the first glimpse of the world’s largest single company helium resource?

While that would be unlikely given NHE still has to work through 6-8 weeks more of the seismic survey, roughly one “swath” a week, it did get us thinking about what’s next for NHE this morning.

Here’s what we’re most looking forward to next for NHE:

  1. Drill target selection
  2. Farmout discussions to progress following results from 3D seismic
  3. Q3 2023 drilling

We’ve also updated our NHE Progress Tracker which outlines everything NHE has accomplished so far since we initially Invested:

Click here to see the NHE Progress Tracker

NHE increases its landholdings by 59%

ASX:NHE Sep 16, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Acquire more Tanzanian permits, strengthen in-country presence
Milestone 1: Finalise licence areas (9 Prospecting Licences) (Q2 2022)
Risk 1: Permitting risk

With a big helium drilling event slated for Q3 2023, our Investment Noble Helium (ASX: NHE) said yesterday that it had secured an additional 1,138km2 across 5 new prospecting licences - which represents ~59% growth in NHE’s landholdings.

Located around Lake Eyasi, here is where these licences sit in relation to NHE’s pre-existing licences in the Rukwa basin which is the primary focus of its exploration efforts:

NHE has measured helium at the 5 new licences in the Eyasi Basin’s hot springs and they return helium grades of up to 5.7%, compared with the US commercial cutoff of 0.3%.

This is why we think today’s news is important:

  1. It secures further landholdings in “potentially the most prospective primary helium landholding globally
  2. As a result, it allows NHE to pursue another prospective helium resource estimate at Eyasi, to further cement its place as the leading pure-play helium exploration company in the world
  3. It provides slightly different geological fundamentals for NHE to work with, different styles of targets, while still being amenable to the same exploration techniques (the North Rukwa project also has a lake in the middle of it)

Helium is needed for spacecraft (NASA and SpaceX use it) and yes, computer chips.

Among a range of high-tech applications, growth in helium demand from the space industry is expected to grow at a 10% clip each year through to 2026 and the chip industry demand will grow at more than 11% a year in the same time frame.

And if there’s one thing we know about tech - it’s that it usually surprises to the upside.

We think all of this bodes well for NHE’s Q3 2023 drilling event.

Today’s announcement means that NHE is more than half way to knocking down the following milestone set out in our NHE Investment Memo:

We have also updated our internal “Progress Tracker” document to reflect today's news.

Click here to see our Progress Tracker and that slide

What’s next for NHE? We’re very much looking forward to the commencement of the 3D seismic program in late September, which remains on track.

Updated investor presentation for our helium Investment

ASX:NHE Sep 07, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022

This morning our helium exploration Investment Noble Helium (ASX: NHE) released a new investor presentation.

NHE listed on the ASX in April and is already making significant progress toward its planned maiden drilling program in the second half 2023.

The presentation gives a really good overview of the helium supply and demand outlook whilst also giving a great retrospective view of where NHE is at right now and what is coming up next.

To check out the updated investor presentation click here, alternatively click on the image below:

Farmout process starts - interest received

ASX:NHE Sep 06, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022

Our helium Investment, Noble Helium (ASX:NHE), said it is kicking off its farmout process yesterday.

NHE Managing Director Justyn Wood said the company had already received interest even with, ‘limited promotion of the farmout opportunity.

NHE does not expect to conclude discussions on farmout until the results from the upcoming 3D seismic campaign are received.

We think this makes sense, as that 3D seismic campaign will give NHE a much better look at the targets it's working with.

And a farmout could prove valuable here as NHE looks to fund the 2023 drill program which is due to take place during the dry season in Tanzania.

Justyn Wood will be presenting at 2.45pm, Wednesday 7 September (tomorrow) at the RIU Good Oil and Gas Energy Conference in Perth.

Airborne Gravity Gradiometry completed

ASX:NHE Aug 22, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Target generation to produce two drillable targets
Milestone 1: Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) continues to add new data to its geological model of its North Rukwa helium project in Tanzania, today announcing that it has completed the Airborne Gravity Gradiometry (AGG) and magnetic program across the full North Rukwa Project area.

Here, NHE has an independently certified 176Bcf of mean unrisked Prospective Helium Resource, which has the potential to be the world’s third largest helium reserve and the largest ever reserve held by a single company.

That's equivalent to ~30 years of annual global helium demand.

Preliminary AGG results are consistent with each of the previously mapped North Rukwa Basin Margin Fault Closure structures, which have a 100% success rate for oil and gas exploration in the East African Rift.

NHE also reports that a Soil Gas Survey is now complete over all of the project’s western area and 30% of its eastern area, with the remaining area to be surveyed in September. Today’s AGG results also display strong correlation with each of the Soil Gas Survey helium anomaly clusters identified so far.

September is shaping up to be a busy month of news flow for NHE with the 3D seismic survey on track to commence acquisition late next month, along with the full processing of the AGG for final structural interpretation.

We’re very pleased with NHE’s progress to date - today’s announcement noted that of the seven structures identified to date, all remain candidates for the 2023 drilling program.

NHE will select the two best drill targets from this pool of structures, so it looks like NHE has quite a range of options to choose from to maximise the chance of drilling success.

The company also confirmed that it has now commenced investigations into funding options for the 2023 drilling program, while it seeks to secure a drill rig for the maiden drill program.

Airborne Gravity Gradiometry (aim for helium bullseye)

ASX:NHE Aug 09, 2022

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Target generation to produce two drillable targets
Milestone 1: Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)

Our helium Investment, Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) just began its Airborne Gravity Gradiometry and Magnetics program today, one of the one of the key milestones in Objective #1 of our NHE Investment Memo:

🔄 Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)

Gravity gradiometry is used in gas exploration to identify targets below the earth’s surface by measuring minute differences in the earth's density to gather information on underground structures.

We think these surveys are somewhat analogous to EM surveys for mining companies and they produce the colourful patterns we’ve become so familiar with in our time Investing in exploration companies:

It’s an important part of NHE’s target generation works and the data from this program will then be correlated with upcoming geochemistry results and the capstone exploration method - the pivotal 3D seismic survey slated for Q3/Q4.

NHE is working with a high end gradiometry instrument from Lockheed Martin which is significantly more precise than the predecessor instrument.

The way we understand NHE’s helium exploration program, there are three layers involved, each increasing the likelihood of a helium discovery:

We emphasise that we are not experts in gas exploration, but we hope this visualisation explains NHE’s exploration methodology.

What’s next for NHE? We’re eager to see the results of the recent geochemistry survey and how this combines with the program announced today.

CHIPS Bill Almost Signed and Semiconductors Need Helium

ASX:GGE Aug 05, 2022

Macro: Helium

Investment Memo: GGE IM-2022
Investment Thesis 1: Helium a critical raw-material for Semiconductors

US politicians in Taiwan, hundreds of billions in funding for chip manufacturing and one strategic gas.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has just left Taiwan and the US$280B Chips and Science Act is heading to President Joe Biden’s desk shortly - the semiconductor supply chain is now mainstream news.

Taiwan retains a dominant position in the chip making industry and the US is keen to attract more chip manufacturing for strategic reasons with the US$280B Chips and Science Act.

Importantly, semiconductor manufacturing is expected to make up 28% of helium demand in the next 5 years.

We’ve previously drawn a link between our helium Investment, Grand Gulf Energy (ASX:GGE), and the large number of proposed manufacturing hubs or “fabs” which could be built in neighbouring states to GGE’s operations in Utah, USA.

In short, we expect domestic helium supply to continue to increase in strategic significance as chip makers start to build out US-based manufacturing capacity.

We also expect helium demand to remain very firm in the short to medium term, and market interest in helium investments to increase in the years to come on the back of its role in the semiconductor supply chain.

Just as the move to secure domestic semiconductor supply chains gathers momentum, securing the helium supply chain will correspondingly also become important.

Recently, the US House of Representatives’ passed the Chips and Science Act which will allocate $52B in grants and incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing:

Key takeaways:

  • US$52.7 billion allocated in order to encourage chip makers to develop and research semiconductors and chips in the U.S
  • President Biden to sign in the coming days
  • Part of a broader trend of Western governments incentivising chip production - Germany has announced it will fund 32 semiconductor projects via a €10B fund proposed in May. Meanwhile Japan has also approved US$6.8B in funding for domestic semiconductor investment

What’s next for GGE?

GGE will re-enter Jesse #1A to test for flow rates in Q3-2022. If GGE can prove out a commercially viable flow rate then it could see itself go from helium explorer to producer off the back of its maiden drilling program.

Widespread elevated helium, gradiometry next

ASX:NHE Aug 02, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Target generation to produce two drillable targets
Milestone 1: Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)
Milestone 2: 3D seismic (Q2-Q4 2022)
Milestone 3: Geochemistry survey (Q2-Q3 2022)

Our helium exploration Investment Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) has reported “outstanding” Soil Gas Survey results from the western side of its North Rukwa Basin Helium Project in Tanzania.

NHE got up to 7.3 parts per million (ppm) of helium on the western side of the project from Soil Gas Surveying (part of the geochemical arm of its Tanzanian helium exploration).

This was part of an overall pattern of “widespread elevated” helium levels that NHE found.

That 7.3 ppm result is 35% above background levels which is a promising early sign that there is helium trapped below NHE’s grounds.

NHE is now moving to the eastern side of its project for additional Soil Gas Surveying to be completed by early August and detailed analysis to come in mid-August.

It’s all part of an exploration program that will combine geochemistry with the legacy 2D seismic data, airborne gravity gradiometry and a more sensitive 3D seismic survey to generate two targets for drilling in 2023.

In yesterday’s announcement, it was also pleasing to see that the plane for the airborne gravity gradiometry is due to arrive this week and the survey will commence by this weekend.

NHE will be using a top of the line Lockheed-Martin gradiometry instrument which should contribute to target generation with “maximum confidence.”

It’s good to see NHE sticking to a tight schedule as it goes after a potentially globally significant helium resource.

We’ve updated our milestones accordingly on our NHE Investment Memo:

🔄 Airborne gravity gradiometry (Q2-Q3 2022)

🔄 Geochemistry survey (Q2-Q3 2022)

We also appreciated NHE providing an update on how the 3D seismic campaign interacts with its ongoing knowledge transfer and stakeholder efforts. The survey is anticipated to create 250 jobs and the vast majority of those jobs will be local Tanzanians drawing on their relationship with University of Dar Es Salaam.

What’s next for NHE? In addition to the gradiometry survey and the final analysis of the geochemistry results, the big milestone coming up is the 3D Seismic survey in Q3 2022, right around the corner.

Global Helium Atlas Licence Secured

ASX:NHE May 26, 2022 Announcement

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022

Our helium Investment, Noble Helium (ASX:NHE), has secured the licence for the helium Atlas, otherwise known as “Global Atlas of Helium Occurrences and Exploration Play Fairway Analysis.

This is a set of data that tracks helium occurrences around the world - a powerful tool to have if NHE is to morph into a significant player in the helium market down the track.

With the agreement executed, NHE now has an important bit of IP in its hands, which should help the company in making future acquisitions.

While it is still early days for NHE, we think the company is doing everything it said it would do in the Prospectus when it IPOed.

As part of the licence agreement, NHE now has access to ongoing technical support from two of the foremost experts on helium globally, Professors Gluyas and Ballentine:

What’s next for NHE: We’re looking for gradiometry to commence and further stakeholder engagement in Tanzania as NHE moves to finalise drill targets towards the end of the year.

Stakeholder engagement - Helium Gas Research Agreement

ASX:NHE Apr 21, 2022

Investment Memo: NHE IM-2022
Objective 1: Acquire more Tanzanian permits, strengthen in-country presence
Milestone 1: Stakeholder engagement (Ongoing)

Our helium exploration investment, Noble Helium (ASX:NHE), is making progress on stakeholder engagement in Tanzania, as evidenced by the signing of a Helium Gas Research Agreement between the company (through its subsidiary Rocket Tanzania Ltd) and the University of Dar es Salaam.

We think building strong local relationships like this is important for NHE obtaining the social licence it needs to be successful.

This is frontier exploration, with no guarantee of success. However, if NHE’s prospective helium resource can be proven it has the potential to be the world’s third largest helium reserve behind the USA and Qatar. It will also be the largest ever reserve held by a single company - a globally significant amount of helium.

We like the high risk / high reward nature of this style of exploration.

Below is CEO Justyn Wood at the signing ceremony:

A Tanzanian news blog, Diramakini did a full write-up of the meeting.

We’ve sighted a professional translation, and the original blog post can be found here (use Google Translate).

Key Takeaways:

  • Staff at NHE’s helium project will be drawn exclusively from Tanzania
  • Tanzania has seen four different major mining contracts signed in the last five months, we think this is evidence of an improving environment for investment
  • Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST) to facilitate activities at NHE’s helium project

We think the collaboration between the two parties is a good step for NHE - one of the sub-objectives under Key Objective #2 from our NHE Investment Memo:

Here is why we invested in NHE and what we expect it to achieve in 2022 - NHE Investment Memo.

Tanzania's improving investment environment has much to do with the improved political situation in Tanzania since Samia Suluhu Hassan became President in March last year.

Hassan has embarked on amending the previous more divisive President Magufuli’s economic regulations in order to lure back investors.

This New York Times article looked at Hassan’s rise to power, her plans, and what that means Tanzania’s future.

It explained that “Ms. Hassan has positioned herself as a unifying national figure willing to challenge the establishment and bent on bringing her country in from the cold after five years of isolationism under Mr. Magufuli, who rarely travelled abroad.”

She has stated that her main priority is reviving the economy, building thousands of schools and health clinics, extending clean water and electricity to rural areas, and completing key infrastructure projects — including a railway line and a major hydropower plant.

What’s next for NHE: We think NHE will move quickly to secure an additional nine prospecting licences with the funds from the IPO.