The Nascent Helium Market
Helium is a non-substitutable and non-renewable element in terms of its use, largely in the tech
space. It cannot be manufactured, and therefore we are reliant on the world’s reserves. Intriguingly,
without a spot market, the price transparency of helium has been historically rather opaque with
significant volume being sold under confidential long term contract s . As the market opens up, this
should benefit the companies involved, and potentially lead to a significant re-rate.
The key use is in the manufacture of semi-conductors, thus it drives telephones, vehicles, and
televisions. A most notable function with regard to healthcare is to enable MRI scans. Given the
soaring demand in these areas in recent years, companies involved in the extraction of helium are
very much in focus and have attracted considerable investor interest. Interestingly enough, this
market has only really come of age over the past decade as a growing supply shortage has had its
The Helium Shortage
The medical industry has been particularly vocal in highlighting the scarcity of this element,
especially with regard to uses in MRI scans, and respiratory gases. For instance, last year the
American Hospital Association published an open letter regarding the crisis, and urging that the
Bureau of Land Management, which governs the Federal Helium Reserve address the crisis. For
instance, 10% of current world helium production would be required to ensure that all the MRI
scanners in the USA can function.
Assets in the USA and Greenland
Pulsar Helium (TSXV:PLSR) is a dedicated primary helium explorer focused both in Minnesota, USA, and in
Greenland. It is based in British Columbia, Canada, and was scheduled to list on Canada’s TSX Venture
Exchange on Monday the 17th of August, having recently filed a long-form prospectus. The IPO values
the company at CAD$22.0M on issue at a listing price of 30c per share, with CAD$3.0M cash on
hand. The nearest comparable company is London listed Helium One (LSE: HE1) which is currently
valued at approximately CAD$123M with an earlier stage helium project in Africa compared to
Pulsar`s Minnesota project. Interestingly, the current management team of Pulsar Helium is the
original team management of Helium One Global.
Minnesota is a new region for helium exploration, most of the exploration in the USA is in the south
west of the country. For Pulsar the discovery it has, the Topaz project was found by accident in 2011,
having been drilled and flowed 10.5% helium, non-combustible gas, and under high pressure. The
standard commercial percentage is just 0.3%, indicating just how much of a find Topaz is. This is one
of the highest helium concentrations found in the world and is 100% owned by Pulsar. An appraisal
well is set to be drilled later this year, within 20m of the original discovery to confirm the size of the
reservoir and establish the grades and flow rates via testing.
In Greenland, the primary helium Tunu system was discovered by Pulsar last year, one of only a few
countries in the world, such as the USA, Canada and Tanzania , to have such an asset. Like Topaz, it is
100% owned by Pulsar. Tunu is at a less advanced stage than Topaz, but is set to be developed by the
company in a similar way. Pulsar is unique in having been granted a Special Mineral Exploration
license in 2021, to explore on an extensive asset which covers an area of 2,772km 2 . To date Tunu has
shown the presence of helium at a concentration of 0.82%, with this year seeing the company
engage in gathering geophysical data and additional gas samples.
Pulsar Helium: Partnership with Envision Formula E Team
In March this year Formula E’s leading Envision Racing announced a partnership with Pulsar Helium,
with Envision then going on to win the 2023 constructor’s championship. The multi-year deal means
that Pulsar becomes the official partner of Envision Racing, involving branding on the nose of each
car. The purpose of the partnership is to underscore the “ race against climate change”, something
which Pulsar sees as providing both brand awareness and for business development purposes.
The Pulsar Helium Opportunity:
Although it may be regarded by some that helium is a somewhat fringe commodity, it is clear that it
is a gas which is indispensable to many of the latest technologies and is key to our ability to use
them. Indeed, as has been seen with UK listed Helium One (HE1), investors have made this one of
the most followed stocks on the London market. Indeed, it is noteworthy that a large majority of
Pulsar’s shareholders at this stage are UK based. They have managed to grasp the significance of
securing sources of helium, and this means that it is highly likely that Pulsar will be equally, if not
There are several reasons for this. They include the incredibly high grades at Topaz, and it being in
the USA market, where shortages are clearly acute. The situation has not been helped especially in
the wake of the July 2023 announcement that the formal process for the sale of the Federal Helium
Reserve has commenced. The uncertainty caused by this, in terms of whether this would be sold to a
private entity, makes Pulsar’s position all the stronger.
In Greenland, the scene is underpinned by the EU adding helium to its critical raw materials list for
2023. Post the pandemic and post Ukraine, it is all about securing supply chains, especially given the
way that Greenland helium production is set midway between the USA and European markets.
The Pulsar IPO
In terms of valuation, Pulsar’s IPO belies the strategic value of its two key assets, and appears to be
priced at a ground floor level at this early stage. With even retail investors on the case in terms of the
urgency regarding helium supply, it can be expected that Pulsar’s initial journey from today on the TSX-V will be a
high profile one.
Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest:
The information, investment views, and recommendations in this Zaks Traders Cafe interview are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this interview should be construed as a promotion or solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or referred to or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engage in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the commentator but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. The commentators may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.
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