Fever: The Dark Mystery of the Bre-X Gold Rush


Jennifer Well

Fever is a compelling tale that takes the reader to the very heart of the Bre-X mystery and into the lives of the people entangled in the extraordinary chain of events.

When two geologists announced to the world that the Busang area had gold not only in its rivers, but buried hundreds of metres underground, the local panners were, perhaps, the only people who did not fall prey to wild hopes and desperate dreams. The rest of the world caught gold fever.

Corporations were eager to take control of Busang. Strategies were played out to win this multi-billion-dollar prize. Yet it was a sham, the brainchild of geologist Michael de Guzman. When the world began to suspect the gold find was a fraud, de Guzman climbed aboard a helicopter headed for Busang and vanished over the beautiful dense canopy of the tropical forest.

Set against the smoldering backdrop of Indonesia and a regime on the brink of collapse, Fever is much more than a brilliantly paced retelling of the fraud of the century. It is also an enduring moral fable, a human drama that resonates with meaning in a world where so many hope for gold.

About the author:
Once Jennifer Wells started work on Fever, she says it instantly seized her interest.

“Once in Jakarta I was hooked,” said Wells. “I found the prospect of shaping the Busang odyssey into book form compelling for a number of reasons: the size of the touted deposit; the cast of characters who discovered and promoted it; the intriguing battle over ownership; and, above all, the exotic awayness of the assignment.”

Jennifer Wells is the recipient of two gold National Magazine Awards for her journalism covering the Westray coal mine disaster, and the author of The Pez: The Manic Life of the Ultimate Promoter, a biography of Murray Pezim. A former national business correspondent with Maclean’s, she is now senior writer at The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine.

1999 Winner