In Jakarta, Friendships Worth Their Weight In Gold

When a mine's ownership is divided--again--the Suhartos win

In today's Indonesia, foreign investors are starting to wonder if there is ever such a thing as a done deal. Just ask Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corp. In November, Jakarta issued the surprising news that it was granting Barrick majority control over what many believe to be the richest gold fields on earth, the Busang deposit. Until then, a 90% stake seemed to be firmly in the hands of another Canadian concern, Bre-X Minerals Ltd., which discovered the lode three years ago.

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