Bre-X Chronology


- Small Calgary-based exploration company Bre-X Minerals Ltd. starts gold exploration in Busang, an area of rain forest and rugged hills on the island of Borneo.


October - Bre-X says Busang could contain more than 30 million ounces of gold.


Feb. 12 - Indonesian Mines and Energy Ministry says Bre-X has found gold deposit of around 40 million ounces.

March 14 - Bre-X says Busang holds 30 million ounces of gold "plus, plus, plus."

April 23 - Bre-X listed on Toronto Stock Exchange. Price rises $5 Canadian to C$192.50 within minutes of opening.

May 10 - Bre-X shareholders approve 10-for-1 stock split. Stock price at C$201.75.

July 22 - Bre-X raises Busang gold estimate to 46.92 million ounces.

Sept. 26 - Bre-X starts search for major mining partner to help develop Busang, retains U.S. advisors.

Oct. 16 - U.S.-educated Indonesian businessman Jusuf Merukh, who has undisputed 10 percent stake in Busang I, says he is entitled to 40 percent stake in whole Busang claim.

Nov. 26 - Bre-X says Indonesian government has told it the government wants Barrick to have 75 percent stake in Busang. Barrick confirms it is in talks with Bre-X over Busang.

Dec. 2 - Canadian miner Placer Dome Inc. says it wants to be a partner with Bre-X in Busang.

Dec. 3 - Bre-X estimates Busang gold reserves at 57.33 million ounces.

Dec 17 - Indonesia says Bre-X and Barrick agreed to split Busang 22.5-67.5 with 10 percent to government.


Jan. 14 - Placer Dome offers $5.0 billion merger with Bre-X. Jusuf Merukh files C$2 billion (US$1.48 billion) lawsuit in Canada against Bre-X over Busang title dispute.

Feb. 5 - Indonesian businessman Muhammad "Bob" Hasan rumored vetting proposals for the rich Busang gold find.

Feb. 16 - Bre-X signs deal to develop Busang with New Orleans-based Freeport McMoRan Gold and Copper Inc., and Indonesian interests.

Feb. 17 - Bre-X raises estimates of Busang gold reserves to 70.95 million ounces.

Feb. 18 - Indonesian government approves Bre-X proposal to develop Busang gold site.

Feb. 19 - Bre-X head of exploration John Felderhof says Busang site could contain up to 200 million ounces of gold. March 19 - Bre-X chief geologist at Busang site, Michael de Guzman, falls out of helicopter while en route to site.

March 20 - Indonesian officials suspect de Guzman's death was a suicide, de Guzman said to be suffering fatal illness.

March 21 - Bre-X shares plummet on Toronto Stock Exchange following Indonesian newspaper report which suggested Freeport McMoRan's tests of Busang site did not match Bre-X's findings.

Coming on the heels of de Guzman's death, skittish investors lopped C$800 million ($583 million) off Bre-X's market capitalization before stock made modest recovery.

March 23 - Indonesian officials find de Guzman's body.

March 26 - Bre-X says test samples from Busang site may have been overstated, hires independent mining consultant Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd. to review Busang program.

In a separate statement, Freeport says analyses of its own drill results so far "indicate insignificant amounts of gold."

Toronto Stock Exchange halts Bre-X trading.

March 27 - Bre-X Chief Executive David Walsh tells reporters outside the company's Calgary headquarters that he stands behind the company's estimates for Busang.

Toronto Stock Exchange resumes trading in Bre-X shares. Within minutes, the stock plunged 80 percent and loses nearly C$3 billion ($2.1 billion) of its market value.

March 28 - Family and friends of mourn death of Bre-X geologist Michael de Guzman at ceremony in Jakarta.

April 4 - Ontario Securities Commission, Canada's top securities regulator, confirms it is probing whether Bre-X breached insider trading and disclosure laws.

Michael de Guzman buried in Manila at emotional funeral where de Guzman's younger brother sings the late geologist's favorite song, "My Way"

April 5 - Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Indonesia's top mining official who handled Busang, is replaced. Officials say move is not linked to Bre-X controversy.

April 11 - Toronto Stock Exchange and Ontario Securities Commission set up task force to study tougher mining rules.

April 15 - More than 11 tons of ore from Busang property flown under tight security to Australia for testing.

April 16 - Bre-X says it has received notice of seven class action lawsuits filed against the company/officials.

April 21 - Canadian movie maker says it has acquired film rights to one of several books being written about Bre-X saga. April 23 - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. says continued testing of its preliminary samples from Busang site has not found significant amounts of gold.

April 30 - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. extends its due diligence of Busang site to June 30.

May 5 - Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd. issues report on Busang. It says the gold find of the century was falsified on a scale "without precedent in mining history."

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