[Bre-X Gold Scandal] Bay Street in the shade – by Rita Trichur (Globe and Mail – June 11, 2024)


What do phony gold, a Russian godfather and a crypto scam have in common? They all illustrate how The Globe plays an important role in exposing corporate malfeasance

It was surely one of the clumsiest attempts ever to rewrite history. In 1996, Calgary-based Bre-X Minerals Ltd. spent months assuring investors it owned most of Busang, a mammoth gold deposit in Indonesia. But the following February, CEO David Walsh flipped the script.

“Some have mistakenly thought that we somehow owned 90 per cent of this property,” Walsh said at the time. “This was never the practical reality, nor was it ever a basis for the valuation of Bre-X stock.”

Hogwash. Bre-X’s previous assertions that it owned 90 per cent of the bonanza were exactly what juiced its stock. And when The Globe and Mail reported five months earlier that Bre-X had lost its grip on Busang, Walsh repeatedly denied the story, doubling down on his majority-stake narrative.

It wasn’t until the Indonesian government forced Bre-X into a development deal that left the miner with a 45-per-cent stake that Walsh contradicted himself. But ownership issues were just the tip of Bre-X’s $6-billion fraud.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-faked-gold-a-russian-godfather-and-other-things-the-globe-has-found-on/