First Quantum promotes Tristan Pascall to CEO

Cobre Panama copper mine put the Central American country in the mining map. (Image: First Quantum Minerals.)

First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) said on Monday that its chief operating officer Tristan Pascall will become the company’s new boss as of May 2022, succeeding his father Philip Pascall, co-founder and current CEO of the Canadian miner.

Philip Pascall, who will remain as chairman, co-founded First Quantum in 1996 and has been at the helm ever since, leading it from a junior miner to a company present on five continents, including several copper mines in Zambia. 

Tristan joined the company in 2007 and has progressively taken senior operational roles in Africa and Latin America before becoming COO in January this year.

The upcoming CEO oversaw the construction and commissioning of the Sentinel copper mine in Zambia between 2009 and 2015. He was also key in the development the Cobre Panama mine, now the company’s largest copper operation.

First Quantum promotes Tristan Pascall to CEO
Philip Pascall (Image courtesy of First Quantum Minerals.)

Located about 120 km (75 miles) west of Panama’s capital, Cobre is estimated to hold 3.1 billion tonnes in proven and probable reserves. It has generated some $6.7 billion in private investment, and includes two open pits, a processing facility, two power plants and a port.

The mine contributes 3.5% of the Central American country’s gross domestic product, according to government figures, and at full capacity can produce more than 300,000 tonnes of copper per year.

First Quantum said the company’s board had voted unanimously to accept the nomination following an independent executive search in which internal and external candidates were reviewed. Philip Pascall abstained from the board vote.

“Tristan’s previous hands-on leadership experience of eight years in Zambia and four years in Panama has given him a deep knowledge of our assets, operating teams and local partners,” Robert Harding, First Quantum’s lead independent direction and chairman of the firm’s nominating and governance committee, said in the statement.

First Quantum is the world’s sixth largest copper miner. It produced 600,000 tonnes of the metal in the first nine months of the year and it’s on track to achieve its 2021 target of between 800,000 and 835,000 tonnes.