Paperback
It was hailed as the biggest gold discovery this century, worth more than #15 billion, but it turned out to be a big mining scandal. This is an account of how, in 1995, Bre-X Minerals, a small Canadian mining company, shot to world fame and fortune after announcing the discovery of 71 million ounces of gold at the Busang site, on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. The value of Bre-X shares soared from $5 to $192.50 within minutes of listing in Toronto in 1996. In March 1997, Michael de Guzman, Bre-X's chief geologist, allegedly committed suicide - jumping out of his helicopter from 800 feet - after tests began to show hardly a trace of the gold he and Bre-X had claimed existed. The value of Bre-X shares plummeted again, but while investors suffered huge losses, Bre-X directors had made themselves millionaires many times over through the earlier sale of shares. This is an investigation of the business scandal, and an attempt to explain the events and motives leading up to it.