Helium One appoints Lorna Blaisse as new CEO

Helium One Global Ltd (LON:HE1), the primary helium explorer in Tanzania, has announced that David Minchin will be stepping down as CEO and from the Board of Helium One, with immediate effect, to pursue other challenges.

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Lorna Blaisse, currently Principal Geologist at Helium One, as CEO of the Company with immediate effect and, following completion of the required AIM regulatory due diligence, it is intended that Lorna be appointed as a Director of the Company.

Lorna is a skilled Exploration Geologist with over 17 years’ 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, the Termit Basin in Chad as well as operational experience managing and delivering successful exploration campaigns in Central and East Africa. 

David Minchin has agreed to remain available to the Company in the short term to ensure an orderly hand over to Lorna.

Ian Stalker, Non-Executive Chairman, commented:

 “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.”

“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 2 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.”

David Minchin, departing Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“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. 

“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.

“I wish the Company every success in its upcoming campaign.”

Lorna Blaisse, incoming Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“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, whilst also continuing to develop our wider helium portfolio. I look forward to continuing the Company’s growth, whilst maintaining clear communication with our shareholders, and unlocking the full potential of the Rukwa project.”

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