O’Neill said the appointment comes at a time when the Government is fully realising its strategy to restructure and streamline the management of its assets in order to maximise efficiency and shareholder gain.
“As the trustee shareholder of Kumul Minerals, and on behalf of the State as beneficial shareholder, I have every confidence in the leadership of Mr. Graham,” PM O’Neill said.
“Kumul Minerals will benefit immensely from Mr. Graham’s extensive experience and knowledge of the extractive industry.
“Mr Graham is the managing director of OTML where he has turned that operation around, and was the managing director of the ExxonMobil PNG.”
Also appointed as independent directors of Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited were Richard Kuna, the current president of the Certified Practising Accountants, and Stanley Liria, a lawyer by profession.
“An appropriate balance of skill and experience is vital for a board in the performance of its oversight functions,” stated the PM.
“The new directors bring a good mix of the necessary attributes required to ensure that the board provides the kind of leadership which will consolidate and develop Kumul Minerals to realise its potential as a world class investment company of the State.
“The immediate focus of Kumul Minerals will now be to consolidate the State’s mining interests in order to build a strong foundation.
"This will enable Kumul Minerals to position itself to take up the State’s equity in the emerging world class projects, particularly the Frieda River and Wafi-Golpu projects.”
While congratulating the three new directors on their respective appointments, the Prime Minister also recognised and thanked senior statesman and former Chairman Sir Brown Bai together with former directors Jerry Wemin, Isaac Lupari, Ian Goddard and Richard Tengdui, for their time, dedication and invaluable contributions to the board.
Managing director Thomas Abe also welcomed the appointments, adding that the management stands ready to work with the board to move the company forward.
Kumul Minerals was established by the Kumul Minerals Holdings Authorization Act 2015, which came into effect on 1 July 2016.
It is the State entity which is mandated to hold and manage the State’s equity in mining projects in the country and to maximise return on investment for the benefit of the people of Papua New Guinea.