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Tests Show Indonesian Gold Bonanza a Hoax

May 05, 1997|Associated Press

The Indonesian jungle tract touted by Bre-X Minerals as one of the biggest gold bonanzas ever is instead the site of one biggest scams in the history of mining, an independent testing company said. Strathcona Minerals, a consulting firm hired to resolve a dispute over the value of the Busang site on the island of Borneo, said its tests showed no evidence of any gold worth mining. Bre-X, a small Calgary, Canada, exploration company, had hired Strathcona to conduct tests after a prospective partner of Bre-X said in late March that its preliminary tests indicated the claims of a vast gold deposit at Busang were false. That announcement by the potential partner, New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, triggered a meltdown of Bre-X stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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