Newcrest board faces spill threat

Influential proxy adviser recommends voting against three directors.

In the wake of a controversy that erupted in June over allegations that Newcrest Mining (NCM) officials selectively briefed analysts head of announcing massive write-downs and production downgrades in June, an influential proxy adviser is recommending that shareholders vote against the re-election of three Newcrest directors, according to The Australian Financial Review.

In a report on Newcrest published Monday, the proxy adviser, ISS, advised clients to oppose the re-election of non-executive directors Richard Lee, Tim Poole and John Spark, all members of Newcrest's audit committee, when the company holds its annual meeting in Melbourne on October 24.

“The audit committee is squarely in the firing line when it comes to identifying whether there are shortcomings,” ISS executive director Ulysses Chioatto told the AFR.

“If you've got situations where something so basic as continuous disclosure is fouling up, someone has to be accountable for that.”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) continues to probe the June 7 announcement by Newcrest, while former ASX chairman Maurice Newman was commissioned by Newcrest to conduct a review of the miner's disclosure and investor relations practices.

However, ISS said Mr Newman's conclusions were “uninspiring and absent in attributing accountability to the company”, the AFR added.