ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania to start exploration
activities on helium in Lake Rukwa next year prior to
the actual production of the rare element on earth, a
senior official said Tuesday.
find, estimated at 54 billion cubic feet of helium,
according to experts, is a major shot in the arm to
global helium reserves which have been running
dangerously low, with prices rising by 500 percent in
the last 15 years.
Kalemani, Tanzania’s deputy minister for Energy and
Minerals said in Dodoma during the parliamentary session
that preliminary study estimated amount of the helium
gas is about six times the current global demand.
Helium One Limited, an international conducted gas seeps
through Gogota (TZ) Limited and Stahamili (TZ) Limited
in western Tanzania’s region of Rukwa region, including
companies were given license to conduct research for
helium in different areas in 2015 while detailed study
is still going on,” said the deputy minister.
maintained that actual production would start after the
completion of all the necessary studies and
environmental impact assessment.
government needs to ascertain the amount of gas
available before issuing any production licenses,” he
being the second most common element in the universe,
helium is very rare on Earth, as it is only produced
from the slow decay of uranium and other elements.
Helium has many uses, including in welding, leak
detection, nuclear research, cooling systems in medical
equipment and the Large Hadron Collider.
independent analysts say the recently discovered helium
gas in Lake Rukwa could be worth 3.5 billion U.S.
scientists from Durham and Oxford universities announced
that vast resources of the rare Helium gas had been
discovered in Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley.
discovery, described as game-changer, is set to end
concerns over a shortage of gas used in medical
diagnosis equipment, mainly MRI and in rocket science.
global market is thought to be worth 6 billion dollars,
with the price of bulk liquid helium rising by 100
percent in the past 10 years, Helium One’s statement