The United States may have won the helium wager again, but this time in a foreign land.
Recently, Helium has been found in South Africa, and its reserves are startling. However, many South Africans and Americans may need to realise that mining feasibility studies are ongoing. In fact, they have been ongoing for a couple of years. Above that, the startling quantity of the reserves implies a growing international interest.
Also, it perpetuates the ongoing disenfranchisement of South Africans who may see minerals mined and shipped overseas. However, many people, including myself, only know of Helium being used in balloons.
But this discovery is a BIG deal.
Because it may be that South Africa has more Helium than the current giant: The US. And considering that the US has always sought to expand its output, this is an offshore potential.
However, for South Africans on the ground, the sentiment is largely: Let them have it if they have the expertise. But most also add that regional industrial development must accompany mining.
But from what I have collected, the US and several nations have attempted, maybe even succeeded, to secure the area.
The US has made a hefty payment in securing the land for feasibility studies.
But the local government may have needed to be made aware of the actual value of that land.
Besides that, the region is a gold-mining one. It has produced some of the finest gold ever mined. And not too far from the helium area, one can see mining towers in a 180-degree view.
What does it mean? Mines in this region are owned and operated by the Anglo-American Gold company. Its South African franchise is called Harmony Gold Group.
In lay terms, they are a joint venture between British and American powers. And depending on if the helium land is Anglo-gold owned, the government may not have been involved at all.
Harmony Group owns a large chunk of land in the surroundings of the mines. And for the most part, they have been reluctant to sell any portion of it. But also, the government needed to press them more. So with this discovery, the consideration to sell will vanish completely. Actually, mines will seek to purchase additional land in case they find something there. That is their way of avoiding red tape from the government.
But I must be very cautious to factualise what I have a vague knowledge of. However, I am qualified to add that industry runs the world. And if the US has found even a tincture of it somewhere, they will expand on the opportunity. In fact, everyone will.
No person can ever let an opportunity of this nature pass, and this is a fact.
Therefore, I am simply detailing human nature, not accusing people or nations.
Remember, even if the Helium is of no known utility, it’s still a commodity with potential value. It’s still wise to secure its land, even for future dates. Even if it is used in Balloons, there is still a market for it, i.e. Dubai would buy one billion helium balloons for their exquisite showcases.
I believe that wealthy companies and nations have no trouble making purchases today that will only yield in a few decades or centuries. That is where money and power meet. They have the money to invest in presently meaningless ventures that may become powerful and bring excessive power to them.
To conclude, I tried to explain a possible reason why this is a big deal for America. And why South Africa scored an own goal in this matter. The reason America continues to donate to South Africa, apart from reparations and aid, is to buy favours for mining and continue mining unhindered.
On the upside, Helium has plenty of utility(which I have just found out), so those investments will yield sooner than expected for them. Bravo to them(whoever they are).
Thanks for reading.
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