Tanzania discovers huge helium deposits in Lake Rukwa

29 June 2016, Dar es Salaam — Tanzania’s Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, and scientists around the world have hailed the discovery of vast deposits of helium gas in the Lake Rukwa area in southern Tanzania.

President John Magufuli of Tanzania

President John Magufuli of Tanzania

Scientists who participated in the discovery said the extraction of the deposits would alleviate global shortages of the crucial gas that is used in medical diagnosis through MRI scanners.

Prof Muhongo said the discovery of the gas, which has been made by the Geological Survey of Tanzania and Helium One Company of Norway in collaboration with scientists from Durham and Oxford universities, was important for the country.

“The deposits are estimated to be 54 billion cubic feet (BCf). This is a very commendable development. We will surely make it as a nation!” reads part of Prof Muhongo’s brief statement posted on the ministry’s website.

Helium is also used in rockets, balloons, arc welding and in leakage detection, the minister said.



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