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The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam
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The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam

Author: BBC & CBC

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It was the biggest gold discovery in history…until it wasn’t. In 1995, Canadian mining company Bre-X announced to the world it had found a significant amount of gold deep in the jungles of Indonesia. Stock prices soared as investors worldwide fought to stake their claim. But when Bre-X’s chief geologist mysteriously fell from a helicopter over the jungle, the story of the billion dollar discovery began to unravel. Nearly three decades later, no one has ever been held accountable. Now, host Suzanne Wilton takes listeners from the jungles of Indonesia to small town Alberta, Canada, to investigate what really happened and find out more about the man behind the biggest goldmine fraud of all time. Produced for the BBC World Service and CBC by BBC Scotland Productions.
Please note, this series contains references to suicide and has some graphic content.

5 Episodes
It was the biggest gold mine fraud of all time – a scam that devastated countless lives. But what really happened? Suzanne Wilton revisits the story that she just couldn’t let go of, to find answers about how the scam was perpetrated… and about the mysterious death of a geologist in the jungle. Released from 19 May 2024.From the BBC World Service and CBC.
1. The fall

1. The fall


Bre-X geologist Michael de Guzman is the man of the hour. He’s responsible for one of the biggest gold discoveries in the world, deep in the Indonesian jungle. It’s a find that sends Bre-X stock prices soaring to stratospheric heights. So his apparent death — a dramatic fall from a helicopter flying to the gold site — sends shockwaves around the world. Did he jump? Was he pushed? But the days following his death will prove even more shocking. Please note, this episode contains difficult subject matter, including references to suicide and death. The series has references to suicide and some graphic content.
2. The believers

2. The believers


It’s gold fever. Estimates put the Bre-X discovery at four times the size of the biggest known gold deposit — and investors are trying to cash in. A small Canadian town is swept up in the gold rush. But others are asking questions, including a hedge fund manager who goes to extraordinary lengths to get inside the Indonesia gold site. Since this episode was recorded, John McBeth has sadly passed away. We are very grateful for his contribution to this story.
3. The battle for Busang

3. The battle for Busang


As the value of the Indonesian gold discovery skyrockets, it’s not just everyday investors who want in. Powerful players are drawn into the fight for the gold in Busang. But Bre-X, a small company, has only ever traded as a penny stock. Can it stand up to powerful rivals and play in the big leagues?
Bre-X’s new partners visit the Indonesian gold exploration site and make a shocking discovery. It will result in a reckoning half a world away at the mining industry’s party of the year — the Prospector and Developers Association Convention. Is the dream of a billion-dollar gold mine about to shatter?