Danny McCance 11 Jun 2019 09:13am

Ferrexpo appoints Graeme Dacomb as audit chair

The Swiss-based mining company has appointed former EY partner Graeme Dacomb to chair its audit committee

Dacomb will also be a member of the independent review committee tasked with investigating matters related to Blooming Land – the charity that coordinates corporate social responsibility programmes for Ferrexpo.

Dacomb spent 12 years as lead partner in extractive industries at the Big Four firm, having been a partner there for 26 years in total,. Between 2011 and 2018, he was also a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel.

As lead partner, he was responsible for coordinating the provision of a full suite of services to many multinational mining companies including Xstrata, Fresnillo and BP.

As audit committee chair, Dacomb will oversee the process of appointing a new auditor, which is ongoing.

In February, Deloitte, the then auditor for Ferrexpo, found unexplained discrepancies in the accounts of the mining company.

As a result, Ferrexpo delayed the publication of its 2018 financial results and established an independent review.

The company had reportedly donated $9.5m (£7.5m) to Blooming Land in the first half of 2018 but made no further donations.

Deloitte resigned as auditor in April and later that month Ferrexpo hit out at the Big Four firm, rejecting its claim that the company had dragged its feet over setting up an independent inquiry in relation to Blooming Land.

In Ferrexpo’s recent trading update, chairman Steve Lucas said, “To date, after a significant amount of work on the part of our forensic accountants and legal advisors, there has been no conclusive evidence of any wrongdoing.”

He added that Ferrexpo would provide shareholders with an update on the ongoing review following the completion of the work by the independent review committee.

Lucas also welcomed Dacomb, saying the appointment “underlines the board’s commitment to the highest standard of corporate governance”.

Dacomb has “the right balance of expertise including industry and emerging markets knowledge”, Lucas stated, adding that he looked forward to the contribution Dacomb will make.

Lucas also announced that Ferrexpo would make further appointments to the board in due course.