BRE-X: The Inside Story

The Inside Story

For two years, Bre-X Minerals was every investor’s dream come true. Skyrocketing to a high of $280, the stock made millionaires of ordinary people virtually overnight. Press releases issued from the firm’s modest Calgary offices proclaimed their Indonesian gold mine to be the richest ever found.

The party ended on March 19, 1997, however, with a report that the company’s chief geologist, Michael de Guzman, had committed suicide by hurling himself out of a helicopter over the jungles of Borneo. He was despondent, it was said, when he discovered he had contracted a fatal disease.

But soon rumors began to swirl. Was Busang the world’s biggest gold find, or simply the world’s biggest hoax? Did the body found deep in the rain forest belong to de Guzman at all, or did he fake his death so he could abscond with the millions of dollars he made inflating Bre-X’s share price by planting gold in the core samples? Was this an example of one man, driven by greed and arrogance, masterminding a gigantic scam that affected the entire global business community? Or was he simply one small player in a conspiracy that involved everyone from the top officers of Bre-X Minerals to the First Family of Indonesia?

Best-selling author Diane Francis, working with a team of eight researchers on three continents, exposes the underpinnings of the world’s greatest stock swindle. Tapping into a global network of business contacts and confidential sources, she uncovers the who, what, when, where, and why of a frantic fight for gold that didn’t exist.