ASX-listed Big Star Energy Ltd has identified helium potential in 21,824 gross acres in 63 new leases it has acquired in the Colorado, USA, State land auction.

“This truly is a transformational moment for the company, Big Star managing director, Joanne Kendrick, said.

“These acquisitions at the State land auction, in addition to our existing acreage, bring us to 27,104 gross 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% above normal atmospheric levels confirming an active helium system in the area.

“Following our successful helium acreage acquisition, I am excited to make a start on our next objective. We plan to design and permit a 5-well drilling programme early next year whilst we consolidate our acreage over these prospects.

“With success in our proposed drilling campaign, any discovered high-concentration helium accumulation would potentially be developed using a pressure swing adsorption plant. A standard-size PSA plant can process 2mmcf/day of raw gas (with 5-10% helium) to a saleable product stream with 98%+ helium concentration and requires between 5,000-10,000 acres to fill to capacity.”

Mr Kendrick said Big Star’s prospects and leads ranking has been driven by our regional and local structural mapping, proximity to historic high-concentration helium wells and the active helium systems proven by the company’s proprietary regional soil gas survey completed earlier this year.

“Continued integration of proprietary geophysical and helium soil gas survey data into the geologic model over the last two months has resulted in improved delineation and greater confidence in prospect sizes and ranking. Notably, the areal extent of Enterprise has increased significantly as a result of this latest work.”