Dr Mellam leaves Chamber after 5 years
23 Jan 2023
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum today announced the departure of Dr Albert Mellam, PhD, as the Executive Director of the Chamber, having served in this role for the past 5 years.
Dr Mellam is the first Papua New Guinean and second Director to head this peak industry body in its 34 years of existence. The first Director was Mr Greg Anderson, who served as its Founding Director and led the Chamber for 29 years.
The President of the Chamber, Mr Anthony Smaré, expressed the gratitude of the Chamber membership for Dr Mellam’s service “We thank Dr Mellam for his service and his invaluable contributions especially in guiding the Chamber through a challenging period of its history. During his tenure as Executive Director, Dr Mellam undertook important organisational reforms to strengthen the Chamber’s operations. Dr Mellam made significant progress with expanding the Chamber’s relationship with stakeholders, and in forging a stronger relationships with government and other stakeholders with an interest in the resources sector in Papua New Guinea.”
In thanking the Chamber, Dr Mellam said: “I served the Chamber at a challenging time in its history. Much of my efforts were centred around the ongoing dialogue with government on key policies and proposed legislative reforms in the Hydrocarbon and Mineral industry, and in managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many operating companies that are critically important to the economic wellbeing of our country were impacted, and every effort was made to ensure these companies remained operational during the pandemic.
“There was no global experience to draw from in managing industry affairs during this pandemic”, said Dr Mellam. He noted that besides remaining operational many companies had assisted the government and the public through the provision of health and safety materials and equipment.
Asked to reflect on his time as the Executive Director, Dr Mellam said:
“The national economy is going through an ‘evolutionary phase’ that will impact the Mining, Petroleum, and Energy sectors. This is a natural process and requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders to ensure positive outcomes that benefit the nation and people of Papua New Guinea and keeping the investment climate attractive. It is healthy for the industry and for development of the country’s resources that these conversations are taking place.”
Among the challenges that continue to be faced is a significant hiatus in exploration activity that has impacted prospects for petroleum and mining discoveries that could propel more dynamic economic development in the country, Dr Mellam said.
He would also like to see the dialogue on the reopening of the Porgera Mine concluded soon and the mine re-open. "Many thousands of jobs and families were impacted by the closure of the Porgera mine and it is my hope that operations can recommence soon, as this will help boost the national economy and contribute to affairs and development aspirations of the local region."
Dr Mellam said he is confident he has left the Chamber in a good position to progress its contribution as a Peak industry body. He expressed gratitude to industry members, the government, landowner groups, development partners, the business community, institutions of higher learning and research organisations, and private citizens for the partnership he has enjoyed during his time with the Chamber.
Dr Mellam’s departure took effect on 20th January 2023. The Chamber is now under the stewardship of Pansy Taueni-Sialis, the incumbent Chief Operating Officer, until a new Executive Director is appointed.