The Bre-X Scandal: How One Company Made Billions Off Nothing

InterestingShitPublished: June 28, 2017Updated: July 3, 201731 plays$0.07 earned
Published: June 28, 2017Updated: July 3, 2017

If a story sounds too good to be true, it must be the story of Bre-X. The Bre-X tale is one that seems like it’s come straight from the pages of an over-the-top Hollywood script, a script that any producer worth their weight in, well, gold, would probably toss aside and label as completely unbelievable.

200 million oz of gold, hailed by Lehman Bros. as the “discovery of the century” unearthed in the jungles of Borneo by a Calgary minerals company founded by a chain-smoking financial failure sinking in debt.

It all started back in 1989, when Bre-X Minerals, Ltd. was founded by Canadian David Walsh, a washed-up stock broker. It was a tepid start for Bre-X, with failed mining expeditions in Quebec and the Northwest Territories and the company continuing to walk the unglamorous line between bankruptcy and being an almost worthless penny stock until 1993. That’s when Walsh called upon a former acquaintance who would eventually become Bre-X’s chief geologist and vice president, fellow Canadian John Felderhof.

What happened next was the alleged discovery of the largest find of gold in history, estimated at 200 million ounces. What they didn't know is that their geologist, Michael de Guzman, had tempered with the core samples, adding shavings of his own wedding ring to deceive potential investors.

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