[Flashback] BRE-X: Inside The $6 Billion Gold Fraud That Shocked The Mining Industry


Posted by Idu Inu Yati, Year 3 undergrad at the School of Accountancy, Singapore Management University

In 1993, a prospector named Michael de Guzman walked out of the jungles of Borneo with extraordinary news: he found gold.

This is according to MasterMinds, a Canadian true crime documentary television series produced by truTV.

For the next three years, de Guzman produced thousands of core samples riddled with gold. Canada’s CBC News has a detailed timeline of the events.

During that period, the market value of de Guzman’s employer, Bre-X Minerals, went from nothing to $6 billion. BusinessWeek notes that Wall Street’s top analysts were extremely bullish on the stock. Big funds poured money into the stock and the world’s major miners wrestled for a piece of the action.

The problem: there was no gold.

As the story unraveled, records mysteriously burned and people unexpectedly died. Questions were left unanswered.

There are plenty of people who wish this story would just go away. But just a few days ago, a lawyer representing one of the players in the Bre-X story was disbarred.


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