Anglo American replaces Deloitte with PwC as external auditor after 20 years

07 May 2019 3 min. read

London and Johannesburg based mining and exploration firm Anglo American has terminated its two-decade long relationship with Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte, which has been its auditor over the period. The firm has appointed Big Four rival PwC, alongside divulging hopes of increasing its focus in South Africa.

Anglo American is one of the most prominent mining firms in the world, and has been operating across the global mining market since its establishment in 1917. The firm offers support with mining, exploration, processing and technology & innovation, dealing with a range of commodities including platinum, copper, iron ore and diamonds.

The firm was first listed on the London Stock Exchange 20 years ago, at which time Deloitte was appointed as its external auditor. Nevertheless, EU law dictates that an external auditor must be changed every two decades, which has led to a change of auditor to Big Four rival PwC.

Earlier this week, Anglo American held a shareholders gathering, at which a resolution to reinstate Deloitte was rejected by one-fifth of those voting. Another change at the firm has come in the form of the appointment of Brazilian mining executive Marcelo Bestos to its Board.

Anglo American replaces Deloitte with PwC as external auditor after 20 years

“Our board appointments are sequenced to reflect the areas of expertise we feel we need most pressingly. Our plan remains that our next non-executive director will reinforce the board’s experience in relation to South Africa,” said the firm in a statement, indicating its future intentions.

Following a period of turbulence that was brought about by a global dip in oil and commodity prices in 2014, the South African mining sector appears to be on the road to recovery on the back of technological innovation and a gradual increase in the amount of foreign investment.

Foreign investment is coming in the exploration domain, after experts have suggested that there are substantial untapped reserves in the country. Combined with the new innovative concepts of digital mining that are emerging in the country, new reserves could prove highly lucrative for mining firms.

PwC has proved the auditor of choice for an increasing number of firms that are looking to conduct extensive operations in South Africa, given that the firm has maintained a relatively clean record in light of a scandal-ridden accounting and advisory environment. Nevertheless, a statement from Anglo American read, “There are no matters in connection with Deloitte’s prospective retirement as external auditor which need to be brought to the attention of shareholders.”