Willie McLucas, mining financier, dies aged 67
Scottish mining financier Willie McLucas, who hit the headlines in the 1990s as part of an extraordinary “gold rush” story, has died in Borders General Hospital. He was 67.
Mr McLucas was latterly a director at Western Gold Exploration following a successful career at Waverley Mining. He developed extensive knowledge of the minerals industry from exploration through to production in coal, gold and base metals.
His experience took him to Australia, Bolivia, Chile, France, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey and
After an early career as a stockbroker and fund manager, his first appointment to the board
of a listed company was with Perseverance Corporation in Australia. Perseverance developed the
Fosterville mine outside Bendigo in Victoria, Australia.
In recent years he had been advising the board of Western Gold Exploration on their ventures across the Dalradian Belt in Scotland and had been enthused by the potential and possibilities of their prospects.
In the 1990s it was revealed that he appeared to have lost out on a fortune after selling a mining concession in Borneo to the small Canadian mining company Bre-X.
The company claimed it had struck the greatest ever gold deposits on the land and its shares rocketed. However, it turned out to be a fraud and that extracts had been salted with gold dust from another source.
Mr McLucas initially felt he had been “double-crossed” when he sold the concession. After the fraud was exposed in 1997 he said in an interview with Terry Murden, then of The Sunday Times: “It looks now like I may be one of the luckier ones.” The story was later told in a book Bre-X: The Inside Story, published in 1998.
Willie McLucas was born in 1955 and died on 2 July. He was married to Blyth and had a son James and daughter Camilla. He was also a grandfather
A funeral takes place on Monday, 18 July at Warriston Crematorium.