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Public Reporting – the Ethics of Quality Communication


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Author J Coombes


*This is an abstract only. No full paper is available for this abstract.*

Public reporting has become the cornerstone of communication between listed entities and investors. Market announcements represent a nexus of legal, business and social interests that are expected to be informed by material and transparent disclosure. This presentation summarises the broad mandatory reporting requirements, highlights the mining industry’s performance issues and explores other emerging reporting issues.

The presentation begins by presenting the case for continuous disclosure, as well as describing the connections between statutory requirements and listing rules, which together form mandatory reporting regimes.

The presentation then shares the results of a study prompted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission‘s (ASIC) release of Information Sheet 214, which was designed to consolidate ASIC’s expectations for reporting forward looking statements. This release brought together fragmented reference to portions of the Corporations Act and legal cases, patchy segments from regulatory guidance documents, ASX listing rules and industry codes. Industry response was heated, which highlighted both uncertainty and concern regarding responsible disclosure, particularly around public reporting of scoping studies. This led to a review of 52 scoping studies that examined the industry’s performance against Information Sheet 214 expectations. The results of this study and the implications for public reporting are presented. The review is complemented with an analysis of the market response to the scoping studies for each of the gold, base metal and industrial minerals sectors.

Next the presentation examines the concept of a reasonable investor, including expectations of the sorts of material issues that are likely to influence future investors and the voluntary reporting systems being developed to prepare the mining industry. Here the presentation summarises broader reporting initiatives and links their importance with international corporate governance expectations emerging from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development principles.

The presentation closes with a call to industry leaders and mining professionals to prepare themselves for future reasonable investors.


Coombes, J, 2016. Public reporting – the ethics of quality communication, in Proceedings International Mine Management Conference, pp 4-5 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).