Few people in Canada know the real story of how a group of geologists came to control the infamous Busang gold site and how promotion of Bre-X echoed their earlier work in Australia.
John Felderhof walked into the Sari Hotel in downtown Jakarta hoping the man he was about tomeet for dinner might be his saviour. It was March, 1993, and Mr. Felderhof, once a stargeologist, was flat broke and trying to recover from a stock market scandal that had cost him hisjob.
With him that night were three geologists: Michael de Guzman, a Filipino who had been fired froma job because he'd bought presents for a girlfriend using company money; Jonathan Nassey, anIndonesian who liked to be called doctor even though everyone in Jakarta knew his PhD had comefrom a mail order company in the United States; and Mike Bird, an Australian who first came to Indonesia with P.T. Tropic Endeavour Indonesia (set up by Kerry B. Collison in 1970).
The rag-tag group of friends, who had been slashing through the jungles of Indonesia for more thana decade, turned out that night to meet Canadian businessman David Walsh.
None of the men knew Mr. Walsh very well. And they had no idea he needed saviours just asbadly as they did. "I assumed anyone who could afford to fly out from Canada had a fair bit of money," said one of the geologists at the meal that night.
This could hardly have been further from the truth.
Mr. Walsh, who would soon become the celebrated chief executive officer of Bre-X MineralsLtd., was a bankrupt business owner with a checkered past who had spent his last $10,000 on thetrip to Jakarta. He needed Mr. Felderhof as much as Mr. Felderhof needed him. And that night in1993, they found each other.
The story of Bre-X's rise and fall on North American stock exchanges has been well documented.But few people in Canada know the real story of how a group of geologists came to control theinfamous Busang gold site, and how much the promotion of Bre-X echoed their earlier work inAustralia.
A new picture has emerged, with a cast of key characters whose names are largely unfamiliar in thiscountry. And it tells a tale of how a small group of men embarked on a decade-long, all-consumingquest for gold in Borneo. Interviews with dozens of key people on several continents haveproduced some important revelations:
Mr. Walsh, who has been at the centre of the Bre-X story in Canada, is regarded in Indonesiaessentially as a source of cash, a man who had little, if any, control over what happened at Busang.
The geologists clearly regarded him solely as a foreign banker.
Most of Bre-X's team of geologists are well-remembered in Australia, where they left a trail ofcorporate wreckage and poorer investors in the 1980s and early 1990s. Their activities created ashort-lived gold rush in Indonesia and a stock market furor in Australia. The market scandal resulted in a sweeping reform of mining regulations in Australia and gave investors there a healthydose of skepticism when the same players came along with Bre-X a decade later.
Mr. Felderhof, Bre-X's chief geologist, is seen as a geological star in Canadian circles. But he isknown very differently in Indonesia. His first big break came in 1968 at age 28, when heco-discovered one of the world's biggest gold deposits. Ever since, he has struggled to match hisearly success. Before joining Bre-X, he was down-and-out and living with his family in a borrowedhouse in Jakarta. His mining prospects were so dim, he was trying to raise funds to start a shrimpfarm in remote Irian Jaya.
As in Australia in the 1980s, huge amounts of public money have funded virtually the same castof geologists in their efforts to dig gold out of the ground in the province of East Kalimantan.
It seems remarkable that the group that met at the Sari Hotel that fateful night in 1993 wouldquickly build one of the most famous mining companies in Canadian history, a company that istoday under a cloud. And indeed, the saga started to rival a John Grisham novel as Mr. de Guzman plunged to his death from a helicopter just days before Bre-X partner Freeport-McMoRanCopper & Gold Inc. revealed its preliminary testing had found "insignificant" amounts of gold.
By Monday, new test results from Busang should give the world a better idea whether the site isindeed the world's largest gold find ever -- as Bre-X has consistently claimed. But just who are themen behind this tale of intrigue, and riches?
The story of Busang begins long before Bre-X shares began to soar on Canadian stock exchangesin 1995. And it begins long before 1993, when Mr. Walsh entered the picture to handle thefinances and shake hands with investors. It goes back more than 20 years, to when the geologists-- the people who really run Bre-X -- began their work in Borneo.
It begins in the mid-1970s, when Mr. Felderhof walked into Peter Howe's Toronto office lookingfor work. The young geologist was still basking in the glow of his work in Papua New Guinea, which resulted in the big mine known as Ok Tedi.
Born in the Netherlands early in the Second World War, Mr. Felderhof was the son of a doctorwho moved in 1954 from Rotterdam to New Glasgow, N.S., to work in the town's new hospital.
Mr. Felderhof, one of 12 children, graduated from Dalhousie University in 1962 with a geologydegree. He went to work for Iron Ore Co. of Canada in Schefferville, Que., but soon left for moreexotic places. By the late 1960s, he had worked in Zambia for Britain's Rio Tinto-Zinc Corp.,married a South African woman, Denise, and joined an exploration team in Papua New Guinea fora U.S. company, Kennecott Copper Corp.
In the rugged Star Mountains, he and another young geologist, Doug Fishburn, made their namesby finding Ok Tedi, a copper and gold mine now owned by Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. The find wasremarkable, in part because the team used an innovative new theory.
"To find something based on what had been an abstruse [mining] theory, it was really exciting timesin mining geology," said Richard Jackson, a professor at James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia, who has written a book on Ok Tedi. "It definitely . . . established Mr.Felderhof in the field."
After his big success, Mr. Felderhof moved to Australia and took up new interests. "I'm not surewhat he was doing there, mining-wise. I know he was growing macadamia nuts," said Mr. Howe,an old friend. "It was around '74 or '75. He thought he'd better get back to work."
In the Bre-X story, Mr. Howe plays the role of matchmaker, bringing together most of thegeologists who run the company today.
Mr. Howe's interest in Indonesia was ignited in the 1970s after the bloody rise of General (nowPresident) Suharto led to a pro-Western, pro-business regime. His company, ACA HoweInternational Ltd., hired Mr. Felderhof to open its South Africa office, then moved him to Australiain 1979 to launch an assault on Indonesia.
Mr. Howe's first venture was a small mining operation in the far eastern province of Irian Jaya. Hisman on the ground was Mr. Nassey, the Bre-X geologist who flaunts his PhD from the Beverly Hills School of Engineering -- an institution about which no information can be found.
Mr. Nassey was an Irianese national who was educated at a Catholic mission school and held big political aspirations. He was known to his friends as Moses and had a critical role: only Indonesiannationals could stake mining claims at that time.
What then developed is eerily reminiscent of the Bre-X story: a flood of junior mining companies, backed by investors smelling a possible gold rush, pour into Indonesia.
In this case, they came from Australia, led by Mr. Howe and a geologist named Michael Novotny.His interest in Indonesia dated from the 1960s, when he was one of the first Australians active in the country. He returned in 1977 and started scouting potential gold sites as a freelance prospector.
In 1979, Mr. Novotny took his portfolio of properties to a flamboyant Perth businessman namedKevin Parry. A former cabinet maker, Mr. Parry had created a vast business empire that included interests in shopping malls, retail and broadcasting. He had also once planned to make an action film with himself as the star.
Mr. Parry's holdings included an oil company called Pelsart Resources NL, but before long Mr. Novotny convinced him to move Pelsart away from oil and into Indonesia's gold fields. Enamoured by the lure of gold and convinced of Mr. Novotny's connections, Mr. Parry agreed. Mr. Novotny began hiring Mr. Howe's geologists, including Mr. Felderhof, to work over dozens of properties he'd found during his hiatus in Indonesia.
The arrangement was ideal for the geologists. Like Mr. Walsh later, Mr. Parry left the geologists to the exploration and provided them with the promise of virtually limitless cash, largely by tenaciously promoting Pelsart's shares on the stock market. He once boasted that Indonesia would soon become the world's second-largest gold producer, behind South Africa.
Investors loved it. Pelsart's shares were hot on the Australian Stock Exchange and Mr. Parry soon raised more than $30-million (U.S.) for his band of geologists.
Meanwhile, Mr. Howe persuaded several friends, including Jakarta-based geologist Mr. Bird, to join him in forming Jason Mining Ltd. (named after Jason and the Argonauts, searching for the golden fleece). Mr. Howe and Mr. Felderhof were directors, and Mr. Bird was general manager.
Jason went public on the Australian Stock Exchange, which was hot for almost anything connected to Indonesia.
"We started the gold rush," Mr. Howe claimed. "The fact we were active on six properties finding gold attracted the attention of other Australian companies."
Mr. Felderhof and Mr. Bird rented motorcycles and raced around the logging roads of central Kalimantan, where most of the existing development involved timber and coal. Mr. Bird, who (claimed) to speak the national language fluently, asked Dayak villagers to show them spots where they panned gold from stream beds.
Jason soon had a portfolio of about a dozen properties. Nearly all were joint ventures with Pelsart, which was also still employing many of the same ACA Howe geologists. Thanks to Mr. Parry's chequebook and salesmanship, Mr. Novotny and a friend, Laurie Whitehouse, built a big exploration house for Pelsart that contained 20 properties and 30 expatriate geologists, including Mr. de Guzman.
Several of the geologists received thousands of shares and stock options in the companies they were now helping to promote. According to the 1986 Jason annual report, Mr. Felderhof and Mr. Howe bought nearly two million shares for 20 cents Australian a piece, and also received options allowing each to buy 300,000 company shares at the same price.
Promoting the companies to the investment community helped generate glowing reports from analysts. Rosy forecasts were routine, boosted by presentations made by Mr. Felderhof, recalled Australian analyst Warren Staude, who sat through several of them.
"They were fairly upbeat," he says, adding that the Howe group had created such a rush that nearly every mining presentation by any company was buoyant.
"There was just so much hype and things going on at the same time. What obviously does come to mind was that, at the end of the day, there simply wasn't any gold."
More accurately, there weren't any gold mines -- at least not until much later, when new owners arrived. In the meantime, things quickly turned sour for the Pelsart and Jason geologists.
The ever-ambitious Mr. Parry was diverting money he raised to a new passion, yacht racing. Parry Corp., his holding company, raised $32-million for Pelsart, but almost none of it reached Jakarta. Although colleagues say Mr. Parry hates boats, he was determined to win the America's Cup. In 1987 he spent the money on his yacht Kookaburra III.
The final blow came in October, when the stock market crash wiped out any enthusiasm for miningventures in far off lands.
The geologists found themselves back operating on a shoestring, with only one prospect even close to producing gold. It was a small, awkward alluvial site where they could dredge up gold-bearing river mud. They knew little about alluvial mining, but they would gamble their companies on it.
The property, known as Ampalit, was deep in the Borneo jungle. The dredging equipment they bought sank in the swampy terrain. When they got it working, it moved too slowly, letting gold sink back into the mud, and it often broke down. The venture was expected to produce 18,000 ounces of gold a year. In its first six months, it produced only 1,500.
It all came to a messy end by 1988. The market crash dried up their source of funds. The failing Ampalit site had to be shut down. The America's Cup bid nearly bankrupted Pelsart, which hadn't produced a cent of profit for shareholders throughout the 1980s. In 1988, Mr. Parry, his business empire ruined, was voted off the board of his own company. Mr. Novotny arranged to sell Parry Corp., including Pelsart, to a group of Hong Kong businessmen for around $12-million. That group
soon sold it to an Indonesian group for around $7-million. Jason also nearly went bankrupt and eventually changed its name to Imperial Mining NL and hired new management.
Mr. Novotny was furious at the loss. After working for years through the 1980s, none of the geologist gang ended up owning the gold sites they had developed. All of their stock options were unexercised and worthless, and the men made almost no money off the venture -- an error they wouldn't repeat with Bre-X.
The Jason and Pelsart gold properties passed into other hands, including Mt. Muro, the only property that later yielded a gold mine. It is a two-million ounce site, and bears one of just two operating gold mines in Borneo.
"I was so pissed off when we had to actually disgorge ourselves from Mt. Muro," Mr. Novotny said. "I had made a deal to buy that a long time before, and I was the first one to step there."
Indeed, Mr. Novotny was the first one to set foot on most of the land explored by Jason and Pelsart -- Mt. Muro, Ampalit, Mirah and others. By all accounts, it was his geological work that identified the most promising sites in Indonesia. Mr. Felderhof often gets the credit, but many in the industry say his participation came later when he teamed with Mr. Novotny to decide which sites would be developed.
One of the properties they were offered, but decided not to pick up, was Busang, then a
patchwork of staking claims about 500 kilometres north of their main base. Mr. Felderhof decidedit was too remote and would cost too much to explore.
After Pelsart, Mr. Novotny said he retired. As for Mr. Whitehouse, he said he moved on after being given a less-attractive job with Pelsart.
That is disputed, however, by Michael Everett, a former director and executive at Pelsart. He said the two men were dismissed when the new management "brought in consultants from the United States to audit everybody including myself. . . .
"Basically it was a personality thing. Those that the new manager got on with stayed and those he didn't, didn't. There was a great big clean out of those who made the grade and those who didn't.
You'd be surprised how many who didn't turn out ended up with Canadian companies."
Mr. de Guzman, who was a senior geologist at Pelsart, was fired after he was caught spending company money on gifts for a girlfriend. Mr. Everett said the offence wasn't serious, but a senior manager didn't like Mr. de Guzman and fired him.
From there, the future Bre-X gang scattered to try to find work and resurrect their batteredreputations.
Mr. de Guzman went to work for another Indonesian mining company and at one point tried tointerest Mr. Everett in a property. However, Mr. Everett said his old colleague's work had slipped greatly.
"It was very poor piece of work," he said. "The information available had been written by Mike, and basically the information was a load of baloney. There weren't too many facts in it, let's put it that way."
Mr. Novotny and Mr. Whitehouse moved on, right into the arms of a salting scandal.
Mr. Novotny said he was approached in 1990 by two brothers, Len and Dean Ireland, and their buddy Clark Easterday about a fabulous gold find they had discovered near Perth, Australia, in an area called Karpa Springs. Mr. Novotny agreed to buy the property for $6-million.
A second round of drilling soon suggested massive gold reserves, the biggest in Australia. Mr. Novotny attracted new investors to the project including Perilya Mines NL and Noranda Inc., which put up $16.2-million (Canadian) for a stake.
But when the partners asked for core samples -- supposedly stored in a shed in Dean Ireland's backyard -- he refused until paid the $6-million (Australian) from Mr. Novotny. Then he told the partners the samples, all six million tonnes of dirt, had been stolen.
Perilya immediately began its own drilling on the site and turned up virtually no gold. The Irelands and Mr. Easterday were arrested for fraud and sentenced to 3 years in prison. Of the $6-million paid by Mr. Novotny, only $4-million was ever recovered.
Life for Mr. Felderhof didn't turn out much better.
He drifted to Perth and then to Canada, dabbling in consulting. His second wife, Ingrid, was also dabbling, but in politics. In 1989, she helped start the Australian Conservative Party in Perth and ran for a seat in the senate on a right-wing platform advocating law-and-order and religous values.The party didn't elect a single member and slowly faded away.
Mr. Felderhof ended up back in Jakarta in 1991 for one more shot, this time teamed up with Armand Beaudoin, a controversial Canadian deal maker well known in Jakarta. Mr. Beaudoin set up Mr. Felderhof and Mr. de Guzman with a new exploration outfit called PT Minindo Perkasasemesta.
"It was John's saving grace," one colleague said. "He didn't have a penny in his pocket."
Minindo had a few properties and was soon planning a float on the Jakarta Stock Exchange -- making it the first junior mining company ever to get listed in Indonesia.
The government saw Minindo as a chance to attract exploration funds and show the world it was serious about helping junior mining companies, not just the big names who could afford a golf game with the president. To bolster the company's image, Minindo's board was stacked with high profile figures including President Suharto's brother-in-law, the former head of the Indonesian intelligence agency, and the brother of the mines minister.
The company got approval to list on the exchange, but problems quickly emerged. The issue was undersubscribed, then the capital market supervisory agency discovered the company had filed false reports.
In November, Minindo fired its president, Suharto's brother-in-law, and tried to reorganize. Mr. Felderhof and Mr. de Guzman flogged the shares across town, including to a consultant working for Lac Minerals Ltd. But there were no takers.
In March, 1993, the securities agency delisted the company and sanctioned the underwriter. Mr.Felderhof and Mr. de Guzman hadn't been paid for months and quit.
For Mr. Felderhof, 1993 could not look worse. His mining prospects were so dim, he and his friend Mr. Nassey planned a shrimp farm and resort hotel in Irian Jaya -- a new dream they could sell to investors. Mr. Nassey was even considering quitting business and entering politics.
"John was pretty desperate. He was pretty broke," said Theo van Leeuwan, who heads Rio Tinto's Indonesian operation.
Mr. Felderhof was supported and looked after by various friends in Indonesia through the difficultperiod, said Colin Hebbard, an old friend in Perth.
"At that stage it was a pretty tough time for him," Mr. Hebbard said.
Fortuitously, Mr. Walsh arrived on the scene, offering hope that a new backer would emerge to replace the unreliable Mr. Parry.
Mr. Walsh had first met Mr. Felderhof in 1983 at Mr. Howe's house in Sydney, and the
conversation soon turned to gold. Mr. Felderhof "was going up to Indonesia with a client and invited me along," Mr. Walsh recalled last year. They spent a couple of weeks in Borneo, he said.
Ten years later when he was broke, Mr. Walsh turned to Mr. Felderhof on the other side of theworld. He remembered asking Mr. Felderhof: "What would the opportunities be in Indonesia?" andbeing told: "Excellent, because there's no one there."
He went to Jakarta, dined at the Sari and came away with two deals. The one history will remember was Busang, which happened to have drifted back into Mr. Felderhof's grasp. The property had been held by the Syakeranis, a modest family from Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. They had several properties staked, including Busang, but lacked cash and clout to get going. They struck a joint venture with Mr. Nassey, an Australian company and Jusuf Merukh, a controversial Indonesian businessman and politician. They drilled 19 holes in 1988-89, but there wasn't enough data to judge how much gold might be there.
Four years later, an out-of-work Mr. Felderhof lucked into an interesting assignment for a company called Montague Gold NL -- assisted, no doubt, by his old friend, Mr. Howe, who saton the board of Montague's parent company.
Mr. Felderhof was hired to review the earlier exploration work, and he called on Mr. de Guzman to help. Both men liked what they saw. According to Warren Beckwith, a former partner in the joint venture, Mr. Felderhof estimated the site contained two million ounces of gold. Mr. Beckwith, however, argues that none of the geological data was sufficient to come up with any estimate.
What happened next is the source of one of the many lawsuits that now litter the Busang landscape. According to allegations in this lawsuit, Mr. Felderhof took the information about the drilling to Bre-X and encouraged the Calgary company to take control of the project. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Felderhof was an employee of both companies at the time.
Mr. Walsh soon raised enough money on the Alberta Stock Exchange to start a drilling program. And indeed, Canada seemed like a perfect fit. Australia's regulators had cracked down on junior mining companies after markets were shaken by scandals in the 1980s. All reports to the market had to be okayed by a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Reserve
figures had to be signed off by an accredited expert. And pension funds were not allowed to invest in exploration firms.
Canada seemed like a free market haven, by contrast.
In May, 1993, Mr. Walsh was issuing the first of many press releases about the site. Three "primeprospects" had been identified on it, the release said. One of them (drilled previously by theAustralians) was estimated to contain one million ounces of recoverable gold, it said. Not anearth-shaking number, but a start.
Besides issuing press releases, his main job was to round up cash. As far as the folks on the groundin Indonesia were concerned, that was all Mr. Walsh needed to know. Operations weren't part of his mandate.
In sworn affidavits entered into Alberta court as evidence for a continuing lawsuit involving Bre-X,managers of the Indonesian operations explain the Calgary office was told little about what wasgoing on.
Mr. Nassey, a senior geologist and project manager for Bre-X in Indonesia, said all developmentsrelating to Busang since Bre-X's involvement began in 1993 occurred under the authority of Mr.Felderhof and other members of the Indonesian management team.
"To my knowledge, the Canadian Bre-X office has had no involvement with the activities of theBre-X office in Jakarta," Mr. Nassey said.
"Walsh is not involved in operational decisions in Indonesia. The Indonesian management team hasalways operated virtually independently of Bre-X's Canadian management."
Mr. Nassey told The Globe and Mail that he had met Mr. Walsh only three or four times and only on social occasions. He said he had never talked geology with Mr. Walsh.
Similarly, Gregory MacDonald, commercial manager of Bre-X's Jakarta office since 1995, said inhis affidavit that there was "no one" in the Calgary office who could provide any assistanceregarding any operations in Indonesia.
"From my review, it appeared that the Jakarta office of Bre-X had operated independently of theCalgary office before my arrival, save for requests from Jakarta to Calgary for cash calls," he said.
The only contact occurred when Jakarta officials would provide accounting information and"limited" technical information to Calgary, primarily to assist with investor relations.
Mr. Felderhof had been to Alberta only twice, he said, while other project managers such as Mr.Nassey and Mr. de Guzman had never been to Calgary.
"From my perspective as the commercial manager of Bre-X in the Jakarta office, there is very littleconnection between Alberta and the evolution of the Busang gold project, aside from the continued injection of capital," he said.
It was all reminiscent of the Parry days. By 1995, the money was pouring in as Bre-X shares approached $100 (Canadian) on the ASE. Once again the geologists took stock options, but this time they wouldn't wait to cash out. Mr. Felderhof earned $42-million on options. He also bought a house on the Cayman Islands listed at $3-million (U.S.). Mr. Walsh bought a mansion in the Bahamas called Ocean Place.
And just like in the 1980s, analysts became enchanted with Bre-X. Many kept upping the company's own gold estimates. Soon Bre-X was touted as discovering 30 million ounces, then 50 million, then 70 million with the potential of 100 million. Mr. Felderhof finally topped them all earlier this year by announcing that he felt comfortable at 200 million ounces.
Back at the site, work was kept at a feverish pace to match the great expectations. By 1995, Busang had four drilling rigs working around the clock, and the local staff were told that bankers and brokers wanted as many assay results as possible before they could fund a bigger exploration program.
"We were completely, royally understaffed," said one geologist who quit. "I was getting four hours of sleep a night. One reason I left was I would have died of exhaustion."
Mr. de Guzman was also busy running three other Bre-X exploration camps in Indonesia. Much of the work at Busang was managed by his Filipino friend Cesar Puspos, whose rise was sharp and sudden. In 1993, he was turned down for a basic field job with another company. Two years later, he was in charge of the most famous exploration camp in the world.
"Cesar is a good geologist, but could he run Busang? I don't think so," said one of his former employers.
The emerging estimates raised eyebrows among long-time geologists in Jakarta and contempt among investors in Australia. "I've been a bit frightened and fascinated by some of the comments I hear back from your company promoters in Canada talking about the potential of ounces," said Mr. Staude, who is a portfolio manager for a large Australian insurance company. "You are not allowed to say that in Australia because we have put a stamp on that. You have to have a degree of credibility before you can make, as a company representative, any statement like that."
The old gang from the Sari Hotel won't be together this weekend, but their futures are once againon the line.
Mr. Felderhof is believed to be in Calgary along with Mr. Walsh. Mr. de Guzman's body is buried in the Philippines. Mr. Nassey is at home in Indonesia. Mr. Bird, a consultant in Indonesia, is also in Jakarta along with Mr. Whitehouse. Mr. Novotny lives in Perth, but flew into Jakarta this week.
The world is waiting to find out whether the geologists of Bre-X have, as they claim, discovered the biggest gold find ever -- or not. Either way, their names will go down in mining history.
Chain-smoking, taciturn Bre-X chief geologist who had spent more than a decade trying to develop gold mines in Indonesia. Before Bre-X came along, he was best known for work he did in the1960's, success he never duplicated.
The matchmaker. An Australian who formed Jason Mining Ltd. in late 1979 with Felderhof and Bird to explore for gold in Indonesia. Their work created the gold rush of the 1980's. First introduced Felderhof to Walsh. Now runs Toronto-based Diadem Resources Ltd.
A flamboyant Australian department store tycoon who set up Pelsart Resources NL to explore for gold in Indonesia. He was a ready source of cash for the geologists, but also blew millions on the America's Cup yachting race. His corporate empire collapsed in 1988. (Note from Kerry. Kevin Parry died in a car accident)
Pelsart exploration manager, a veteran jungle geologist and one of the first Australians to take an interest in Indonesian mining in the 1960s. He first staked the claims that he and Felderhof would try to develop through the 1980s. (Note from Kerry. Novotny died having undertaken cheap surgery in Asia)
Bre-X Minerals Ltd. founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer. He joined the geologists in 1993, and took on a role very similar to that of Parry - generate funds from investors and stay out of the mining operations.
Michael de Guzman:
Bre-X's No. 2 geologist, he apparently committed suicide by jumping from a helicopter over the Borneo jungle just a few days before Freeport's negative assay results were made public. He first worked with the Bre-X gang in the 1980s. (Note from Kerry. This is BS. Guzman was discovered in South America around 2014).
Australian geologist married to the daughter of a senior Indonesian military officer. He has all the right contacts in Indonesia. He hooked up with Felderhof in the early 1980s and has been part of the group ever since, most recently as a freelance consultant for Bre-X.(Note from Kerry. I knew Bird and Novotny very well., Both came to my office in Menteng as employees of the Australian investors in P.T. Tropic Endeavour when I acquired Blok II in the Gorontalo area in 1970. Mike Bird was never fluent in the language and was not married to an influential military family. He was a homosexual, married into a family which often produced albino offspring).
Jonathan (Moses) Nassey:
An Indonesian citizen who worked as senior geologist and project manager for Bre-X in Indonesia. He was also an early Felderhof partner, joining Jason Mining in 1980 as the Indonesian-based manager.
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