Frank Giustra’s Not-So-Golden Year

Has the mining magnate’s Midas touch become a little less golden of late?

by Jacob Parry

Frank Giustra is a man of many hats: mining magnate, producer of blockbusters, jet-setting philanthropist and entrepreneur with interests in olive oil and sablefish. In the last 12 months, his high-profile friendships and a troubled foray into publishing have landed him unwanted attention from the U.S. press.



Giustra sells his Beverly Hills acreage–named after his mother Fiore–for US$13.9 million. He purchased the estate from supermodel Heidi Klum for $7 million four years prior.


Giustra’s Thunderbird Films begins production on a sequel to sci-fi classic Blade Runner, with Canadians Ryan Gosling as star and Denis Villeneuve as director. The production company bought a 50 per cent stake in the sequel’s rights in 2011.



Modern Farmer–the Etsy-meets-agriculture magazine, founded and financed by Giustra–loses its founding editor Ann Marie Gardner following a year of tense relations between the two. In May 2014, the startup publication won a coveted National Magazine Award in New York.


Giustra says at a London mining conference that the laggard commodities sector is the worst he’s seen in 35 years. Gold–which still forms the core of Giustra’s portfolio–fares decently. He’s an advisor and investor in several Vancouver miners–among them, Endeavour Mining, a gold miner with properties in West Africa. That company’s Burkina Faso mine received the go-ahead from local authorities in February.


APRIL 2015

Giustra’s cozy relationship with the Clintons puts him front and centre in a New York Times story, which alleges that former U.S. secretary of state (and Democratic presidential hopeful) Hillary Clinton traded Giustra political favours in exchange for his high-profile support (totalling around $100 million) for the Clinton Global Initiative. Giustra later says that he’s been caught up in a vicious smear campaign.