Previous studies in the financial economics literature highlight the value of non-financial information in Internet and telephony stocks (Amir and Lev 1996; Trueman, Wong, and Zhang 2001). Other studies consider the financial and share price performance implications of assurance of non-financial information such as ISO 9000 certification (Corbett, Montes-Sancho, and Kirsch 2005), Total Quality Management awards (Hendricks and Singhal 1997), and non-financial information disclosure (Coram, Monroe, and Woodliff 2009). However, prior studies have occurred in settings where disclosure and assurance of non-financial information is voluntary. We provide evidence on the value of assurance of non-financial information where the assurance of public resource disclosures made under the JORC Code by Australian Mining Development Stage Entities are mandatory. The assurance role undertaken by Competent Persons reporting under the JORC Code bears many close similarities to the financial reporting assurance role undertaken by auditors. Further, the information environment of MDSEs is characterized by high information asymmetry and the reality that the utility of non-financial technical information supersedes financial statement information in firm valuation. We document very weak evidence of greater abnormal returns evident when reserve disclosures are provided by specialist mining consultants. In supplementary analysis, we test for implications of switching mineral consultant and find that clients experience significant positive abnormal returns when the successor is larger. Overall, our findings support the insurance hypothesis, in that mandatory specialist assurance matters little where litigation risk is low.

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