Laughing gas

Tanzania can benefit from Russia-Ukraine war to supply world’s purest helium

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on January 13, 2023 05:00

 © Balangida Rift Basin
(photo: @Heliumone1)
Balangida Rift Basin (photo: @Heliumone1)

Tanzania can become a globally significant supplier of helium amid a supply deficit worsened by the Russia-Ukraine war, Helium One CEO David Minchin tells The Africa Report.

The element, which occurs naturally as a colourless gas, is used for a range of hi-tech applications such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, satellite instruments, semiconductor manufacturing, fibre-optic cables, rocket launches and assisted breathing in hospitals. If hospitals run out of it, Minchin says, Covid-19 death rates would increase.

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