By DERRICK SILIMINA
Change is in the air at First Quantum Minerals (FQM) as the mining company’s current Chairman and CEO Philip Pascal will retire from the CEO role and continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.
Philip Pascall, who co-founded FQM in 1996 has served as its CEO and Chairman ever since, goes into retirement and will become one of the longest-serving CEOs among the world’s major mining companies.
The world’s sixth largest copper producer with assets in Zambia, Panama, Spain and Turkey has since announced that company Chief Operating Officer Tristan Pascall is to replace Philip Pascall as CEO of FQM and the appointment will take effect at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in early May 2022.
“On behalf of the entire company, I would like to thank Philip for his extraordinary leadership. Over the span of a quarter century as CEO, Philip has demonstrated a capacity to solve problems others could not and to bring unique solutions to complex project issues,” Robert Harding, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee told Globe Newswire recently in Toronto, Canada.
“The Board believes his ongoing involvement as Chairman will be a significant competitive advantage and form a uniquely complementary combination with Tristan’s hands-on, collaborative leadership style.”
After Philip Pascal’s 26 years of stewardship, FQM has grown from strength to strength following the construction of the Bwana Mkubwa project in Zambia which was designed for 10,000 tonnes a year of copper production, to become the world’s sixth largest copper producer. Today, the southern African country is host to FQM’s Kansanshi and Sentinel mines which comprise more than half of the mining giant’s over 800,000 tonne a year copper output.
Certainly, with FQM’s operations on five continents, employing more than 20,000 people and producing over 800,000 tonnes of copper annually, Philip Pascal’s exceptional leadership has indeed built a global mining legacy.
The FQM group has morphed into a global mining giant and has continued to diversify geographically with its Zambian units’ contribution to both revenue and production on a year-on-year basis.
Pascall Philip holds an honours degree in control engineering from Sussex University and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He worked in general management positions in South Africa from 1973 and moved into the mining industry from 1977 working for Rio Tinto and E. L. Bateman. In 1981, he relocated to Australia where he was project manager for Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond project and then executive chairman and part-owner of Nedpac Engineering between 1982 and 1990.
However, the recent appointment of Tristan Pascall represents the climax of a succession planning process search which focused on identifying outstanding leaders with substantial mining experience. It was a worldwide external search that included internal candidates.
Following a thorough evaluation, the Committee determined that Tristan Pascall was the best candidate and submitted its recommendation to the Board of Directors, which voted unanimously to approve the recommendation. In his current role of Chairman and CEO, Philip Pascall abstained from voting.
“After a thorough search process, we are very pleased to appoint Tristan Pascall as First Quantum’s next Chief Executive Officer. Tristan has demonstrated impressive leadership in his current role as COO as he navigated the successful ramp-up of our largest asset through the challenging environment presented by the global pandemic,” said Harding, who is also Committee Lead Independent Director.
He affirmed that Tristan’s previous hands-on leadership experience of eight years in Zambia and four years in Panama has given him a deep knowledge of FQM’s assets, operating teams and local partners.
Harding stressed that Tristan Pascall’s practical, on-the-ground experience with people and projects, combined with lessons learned from the countries where FQM operate, embodies the Company’s culture and makes him the right leader for First Quantum.
“We believe Tristan’s combination of operational, strategic and capital markets experience, as well as the strong stakeholder relationships he has developed, are fundamental to the continuity of our unique core capabilities, namely industry-leading project execution and operational excellence,” he explained.
Tristan Pascall joined FQM in 2007 and held progressively senior operational roles in Africa and Latin America until 2020 when he served as Director of Strategy and later became Chief Operating Officer in January 2021.
Prior to assuming his executive leadership roles, Tristan was a key member of the teams that delivered on several major greenfield and expansion mining projects which now collectively represent most of the Company’s net asset value. His responsibilities from 2009 to 2015 included the initial development, construction and operating of the Sentinel mine of Kalumbila District in North-Western Province.
Starting in 2015, Tristan led the development of the Cobre Panama mine, now the Company’s largest copper mine with the world’s largest single-throughput copper concentrator plant, and built the operations team which now stands at more than 5,000 people.
Before joining FQM, Tristan spent eight years in corporate finance and investment banking with a focus on resources and heavy industry in Australia, Europe and Asia. He graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) and Bachelor of Commerce and completed an MBA at INSEAD.
“I am very excited to continue to build upon the momentum we have established at First Quantum. It is deeply humbling to be selected to lead such a highly talented team, all of whom have contributed to establishing a unique entrepreneurial culture,” said Tristan Pascall.
“As we enter our next stage of growth, I look forward to building on First Quantum’s accomplishments of the past two decades.”