We now have more than 'just a suspicion' of how much helium is available in the Minnesota Iron Range.

Back on February 21st, I posted a story about a hopeful find of helium in Minnesota's Iron Range. Helium is expected to run out in less than 200 years. Life as we know it would be majorly affected, as it is a much-needed element that powers essential Medical diagnostic equipment like MRIs and so much more.

Just three weeks after crews began drilling at the site, the drill reached its depth on Thursday, February 29th at about 2 am, where the helium concentration was measured at 12.4%. Much higher than they ever thought it would be, and about 30 times the industry standard for commercial Helium, according to an article with cbsnews.com.

At this point, a third-party company needed to come in and decide if the site could support a full-service Helium plant facility.

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Pulsar Helium Inc. reached out to us this morning with a news release that they have received the lab results for gas samples from the well at the Topaz helium project in Minnesota, which may be the biggest helium supply in North America.

According to the information we received, 11 samples have been analyzed, and the results from the well are the highest helium concentrations that Pulsar has ever seen. Originally 12.4% concentrations were announced, but now after these last samples were studied, that percentage has risen yet again to 13.8%!

The company is still waiting on more data from a third party, but once they get those results, they will share that information. That testing information from the well includes studying flow testing, a pressure buildup program, and the collection of pressurized gas samples for lab analysis. Unfortunately, the latter will be delayed until the mandated road conditions allow for the return of heavy traffic in the area.

If you would like to follow Pulsar Helium for more information as it becomes available, you can visit their website by clicking HERE, or on X by clicking HERE.

WCCO - CBS Minnesota/YouTube


Helium is a nonrenewable element in Earth's crust, and we are running out of it. You may think of Helium as the stuff that makes your balloons float, or when you suck it out of a balloon, makes you sound hilarious. On a more serious note, Helium powers essential medical diagnostic equipment. When you think about MRIs, those machines require approximately 2,000 liters of helium to work, according to an article I found at greenmatters.com.

The Helium that we have left in the world is expected to run out in less than 200 years. Helium has always been managed by the Bureau of Land Management in the United States, but according to the article, it was being sold to private buyers beginning in July of 2023, which seems like a dangerous move in any circumstance.

Until now, the only Helium Storage facility in the world has been located at the US Federal Helium Reserve in Texas. There was a discovery in Africa, which is now the largest producer of Helium, but it's hard to transport as it likes to leak and get into the atmosphere. It's important to have helium close to home. Other exporters of helium include Russia and Qatar.


Minnesota's Iron Range might change all of that. A group of scientists are drilling there in search of Helium, thanks to an accidental discovery made back in 2011.

"It is quite nice to think beneath the feet here there is this accumulation of gas, and it is very rare. The word would be 'significant'. This significance is definitely on a global scale," Thomas Abraham-James, CEO of Pulsar Helium, Inc. said to WCCO News.

Millions of dollars are being spent in the search for helium in a remote area in Babbitt, Minnesota. There, a team of engineers, geologists, mechanics, and researchers from the U.S. and all around the world have gathered at that accidental spot where it was discovered.

"Our objectives are to replicate the original discovery. What we have here, the conditions right outside of Babbitt, is significant because the rock that contains the gas is impermeable. The gas is effectively trapped and over time can accumulate and accumulate and accumulate without leaking to the surface. That's very rare to find globally," Abraham-James said.

In Babbitt, Engineers have reported that the drill currently travels about 125+ feet per day, so the team hopes to reach its destination depth towards the end of February.

So Long! Minnesota's Ugliest Car Just Got Drove Off To Michigan

Alex Wayne recently bought a mash-up of a Minnesota vehicle. It's a Mini Cooper frame with a Chevy Express van skeleton on top. This vehicle definitely turns some heads as it goes by, but it was supposed to do that.

Gallery Credit: Image Credit: Alex Wayne via Facebook

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St. Wendel...in Pictures

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