Tanzania won't get rich quick from helium find

Commercial production from the vast helium field recently discovered in Tanzania may be five years in the future, the CEO of the Norway-based company spearheading the project has cautioned.

“If all goes according to plan, we could be in production by 2020 or 2021,” Helium One chief Thomas Abraham-James said in a July 8 telephone interview.

Additional testing will be carried out next year as part of a “feasibility analysis” focused on the Lake Rukwa find, Mr Abraham-James added.

“With all these projects, we need to drill and confirm that the gas exists beyond any doubt.”

Helium One, a startup firm incorporated last year, must also raise capital before it can begin extracting the gas, the CEO said.

The company is reportedly seeking $40 million in investments.

News of the Rukwa find has prompted speculation on the part of some Tanzanians that the country may be on the brink of a helium bonanza.

British and Norwegian researchers’ discovery of a reservoir that could contain 54 billion cubic feet of helium could ultimately generate “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenues, Mr Abraham-James estimated.

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5 years ni kidogo sana

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It depends on their laws and the transparency of the contracts. They have had tanzanite and gold for decades but it doesn’t make much contributions to their economy and national treasury. The mining firms and a few individuals benefit more. Here in Kenya our constitution and laws make it better for citizens and state over mining firms. The mining bill 2014 and community land laws have been so hard to pass and agree on as people haggle over the share percentages between locals, counties, state organs and national treasury. CS Balala started the mining bill 2014 in 2013 but it was finally passed in 2016. The land laws bills are still stuck in senate following intense negotiations. The State and mining firm agree on the share of revenue after taxations and based on contributions. Mining revenue is basically shared as 5% goes to immediate locals within 25 kilometers radius. 5% nema for future land rehabilitation, 10% national sovereign fund, 20% county government, 20% shared between 46 other counties and 40% National government.


this helium is very little money. siyo vile raia wanafikiria. it will be an anticlimax for them once they start production. natural gas ndiyo wako nayo ya maana but this one ni bure. itapotelea kwa overheads.

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My thoughts exactly! Figures flying around are USD 3.5 billion. That’s peanuts to a serious economy! And the find has not been authoritatively evaluated! The excitement in the international community is due to the significance of the commodity.

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munamaliza ma padlocks…let him just dream a little.


I also saw that figure and in terms of mineral wealth ni kidogo kwanza the company has to recoup its investment on the site before the country can get anything alafu the wealth sharing formula pia lazima itazamwe

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