Back in October, we introduced our Stockhouse investor audience to a very different, and very profitable, kind of company that has been a market leader working to establish itself as the only primary helium producer in the world, but also as a leader in ESG practices.
Vancouver BC-based resource company Desert Mountain Energy Corp. (TSX-V: DME, OTCQX: DMEHF, Forum) is a vertically integrated producer of this valuable gas. Fast forward just over a month, and the company just announced that it had selected GENERON as the main contractor for the buildout of its first solar / hydrogen powered helium processing plant, located in Arizona. This news is sure to provide a boost for business, as helium plays a major role in much of the tech we use in our daily lives and shows just how important ESG-related companies really are to future global economies. In this exclusive video interview, Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson was joined by company Vice President of Land and Director, Jessica Davey to get company shareholders and investors completely up to date with all things Desert Mountain Energy.
SH: To begin with, let’s get your take on why we should invest in helium and
Click to enlargeJD: Well, helium is an incredibly valuable gas right now. And really what’s driving a lot of investment in energy right now is ESG. You know, it’s become a major influencer for investors. Without boring you with a bunch of details, for the folks that might be new to ESG concepts, I’ll kind of touch on very brief background beginning with the ‘E’ stands for environment and that’s really rooted in early environmental movements in the industrial revolution. The ‘S’ stands for social and that really surrounds the ideals of social equity and equality and the ‘G’ stands for governance, which really started with gaining momentum during the aftermath of the stock market crash in 1929. So none of these concepts are new. It’s really just blending the three of them that provide some more fulsome guidance on providing companies more of a background on how they should evaluate their decision-making process.
So, we’ve seen that companies that develop and adhere to really solid ESG policies show their stakeholders that they’re not only concerned with the impacts on their environment but the people in communities that are affected by their operations. They also really illustrate that they’re committed to the long-term financial health of the company itself. And so, investors have really become savvy in selecting companies based on their ESG policies because of the ethical foundations in them. You know, and we’ve seen higher trading prices for companies with good ESG policies.
SH: What’s the long-term societal benefit that helium provides?
JD: Oh my gosh, there are tons of benefits for helium. I’ll list off a few of the uses. One that most people don’t realize is that it’s used during the production of semiconductor chips. So all of our smartphones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices, wouldn’t be here without helium. Other uses include space exploration, which we’re really excited about. It’s a primary gas used in automobile airbags. It’s used in the production of MRI magnets, and also added to air tanks used for medical treatments and deep-sea diving of all things. So, just a handful of uses to illustrate, the really extremely practical benefits of helium. All of these applications really help support the healthcare industry and further scientific and technological studies as well as provide a nice level of safety and comfort for millions of people and also party balloons are fun.
SH: At present, what do you see as the biggest area of growth for Desert Mountain Energy and how are you positioned to take advantage of it?
JD: So really right now our major growth areas really hinge on us getting our separation facility up and running in the Holbrook basin. So once that’s in place we can start turning on the production from our Wells and get that positive cash flow coming in. And once we get that going, we can start working on our plans for expansion into other areas in the basin. And maybe even outside the basin for other pure play helium opportunities.
SH: What separates Desert Mountain from the competition and what makes your business model so unique?
JD: So really the fact that Desert Mountain is a pure play helium operator sets us apart from most other companies. You know, this was a unique focus for me, really starting with a company this last year is we’ve been avoiding hydrocarbon production. So we’re also committed to being as carbon free as possible. Even the separation facility that we’re constructing there in the Holbrook basin is going to run off of solar panels and hydrogen startup and backup systems. So really truly a unique approach to running a separation facility. And this is what really sets us apart from the competition.
SH: Looking back on 2021, what have been some company highlights?
JD: So, two big highlights that really stand out to me is, first, me joining the company back during the summer to take over the land aspect of our operations. And then we brought on James Hayes as our VP of Engineering. So, with the addition of us two, it’s really allowed us to accomplish more in the past few months and really focus not only on the short-term goals, but really set us up for success in the coming years. You know, secondly, we have four Wells so far that have great helium shows and that demonstrates, you know, really the amount of hard work the company’s put into targeting these prime locations in the Holbrook basin.
SH: What are some of the corporate strategies in place for the company’s anticipated growth well into 2022 and beyond?
JD: So right now, our main focus is getting that separation facility up and operating in the next few months. Meaning we can turn on the production from the existing Wells and we’re, right now, finishing up submitting all of the requirements to get the next handful of Wells permitted through the State of Arizona. So, once we get the separation facility up and going, we can get all those Wells feeding into that and get that cashflow coming in like I mentioned before. That’s such an important step for the company getting that cashflow going. You know, not only for the company’s bottom line, but for our shareholders as well. We’re also actively working on a handful of strategic land acquisitions and targeting the next set of Wells that we’ll be drilling. So some major growth for the company in that aspect for the coming months. Also we’re working on a couple of other things that I’m not yet allowed to divulge, but we’ll be announcing soon.
SH: What makes the company and its projects such a good investment?
JD: So really Desert Mountain Energy has been super mindful from the very start. You know, as I said before, we are purposely staying away from hydrocarbon production, which our investors really appreciate. We’ve also really been working diligently in the communities that we operate, to establish long-term relationships with the landowners and the community stakeholders. So, I’m really proud to be part of a company that actually walks the walk. We don’t just have these empty promises to be a good steward to the land and the people to only cover up future mistakes, essentially. We really make sure that we, everything that we do stands up to a really high ethical standard and investors, if investors value really well-rounded energy companies with strong ethical foundations, then we are a really good choice.
SH: And finally, Jessica, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.
JD: Well, thank you for the opportunity to discuss something else that is, you know, really near and dear to my heart. Desert Mountain Energy currently has three women including myself on the Board of Directors. And this is a particularly high ratio of women to men on the Board than most small energy operators have. Robert Rohlfing has really intentionally worked on the diversity of the backgrounds of the Board as well, not only with gender, but everyone has varied experiences, which brings so much more value to the company. So, I’m super proud to be part of this company. And I hope to serve as a positive role model, especially for my nine-year-old daughter and as a leader in an industry that I truly love.