This paper examines the role of powerful entities and coalitions in shaping international accounting standards. Specifically, the focus is on the process by which the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) developed IFRS 6, Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources. In its Issues Paper, the IASB recommended that the successful efforts method be mandated for pre-production costs, eliminating the choice previously available between full cost and successful efforts methods. In spite of the endorsement of this view by a majority of the constituents who responded to the Issues Paper, the final outcome changed nothing, with choice being retained. A compelling explanation of this disparity between the visible inputs and outputs of the standard setting process is the existence of a black box, in which powerful extractive industries entities and coalitions covertly influenced the IASB to secure their own ends and ensure that the status quo was maintained.