Aim-listed Helium One Global, a primary helium explorer in Tanzania, has announced that CEO David Minchin will step down with immediate effect, to pursue other challenges.
The company has appointed Lorna Blaisse, currently principal geologist at Helium One, as CEO with immediate effect and, following completion of the required Aim regulatory due diligence, it is intended that she be appointed as a director of the company.
Blaisse is a skilled exploration geologist with over 17 years of experience in exploration and appraisal of oil and gas projects across Africa. She has direct experience of Rift basin geology, having worked in the Lake Albert Rift basin in Uganda and the Termit basin in Chad, as well as operational experience managing and delivering successful exploration campaigns in Central and East Africa.
Minchin has agreed to remain available to the company in the short term to ensure an orderly handover.
“On behalf of the board I would like to thank David Minchin for his dedicated service over the last two and a half years. David has grown and developed the company during his tenure as CEO, increasing our operational capability and expanding our geological knowledge of the Tanzanian helium systems.
“He leaves us in a strong position – fully financed and with an excellent management team in place – to execute our 2023 drilling campaign and to further grow the company to become a strategic supplier of helium to a constrained market. We wish David all the best of luck in his future endeavours,” comments nonexecutive chairperson Ian Stalker.
“I would also like to welcome Lorna as CEO. She has extensive expertise at successfully delivering oil and gas exploration campaigns and, having been with the company for almost two years, an in-depth understanding and knowledge of our projects, which will greatly assist her and the team in delivering a successful drilling programme in 2023,” he adds.
“With Helium One fully funded for drilling at Rukwa and rig contract negotiations ongoing, it is an appropriate time for new leadership to come to the company and take ownership of the 2023 drilling campaign.
“Although disappointed that I will not be a part of the team that ultimately delivers this, I am happy that I leave the company in a strong position. Helium One has an exceptional management team and board in place and is fully funded to move forward and deliver its strategy,” Minchin says.
“I would like to thank all shareholders for their continued support during my time at Helium One, and express my gratitude towards all our employees, the Tanzanian government Ministries, as well as the local communities at Rukwa, Eyasi and Balangida – Asante,” he adds.
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to take leadership of Helium One at such a crucial time for the company. This is a strategically important phase for Helium One, but I have every confidence in the team and know they will adapt quickly to this change and remain focused on delivering a safe and successful drilling campaign this year, while also continuing to develop our wider helium portfolio.
“I look forward to continuing the company’s growth, while maintaining clear communication with our shareholders, and unlocking the full potential of the Rukwa project,” Blaisse says.
Source: Mining Weekly