Tristan Pascall
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Tristan Pascall

CEO: First Quantum Minerals

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‘We are focused on Zambia. It is a great place to be’

FIRST Quantum Minerals announced in 2022 it would spend $1.25bn extending its Kansanshi copper project in Zambia. Known as S3 (Solwezi section), the project represented a return of sorts to the country following the investor-hostile administration of former president Edgar Lungu. Lungu’s successor Hakainde Hichilema, an economist by training, has sounded far improved investment notes. Now Tristan Pascall wishes the same in Panama where his company has sunk $10bn developing the 350,000-tons-a-year Cobre Panamá copper mine.

In mid-December, the South American country deemed the mine’s contract to have violated 25 articles of its constitution. It subsequently ordered the immediate closure of the mine spelling major trouble for First Quantum. In January, Pascall set out plans to protect the firm’s balance sheet which includes halting the dividend and looking at the sale of smaller mines. However, he remains committed to Zambia — Pascall said in an interview the country was “a great place to be” — while speculation the company may fall to a takeover from Barrick or do a deal with shareholder Jiangxi Copper Corp seems unfounded, at least for now.

In a separate development First Quantum agreed to a $200m development of the 30,000-tons-a-year Fishtie copper project in Zambia with local partner Mimosa Resources. Happily for First Quantum, Mimosa will lead the financing, giving it 75% control. In September 2023, First Quantum co-founder and Tristan Pascall’s father, Philip Pascall, passed away.


Pascall joined First Quantum in 2007 and held progressively senior roles in Africa and Latin America until he was appointed director of strategy in 2020. He became COO in 2021, and his appointment to the CEO role was announced following what the company termed a “thorough evaluation”, which included a “worldwide external search”.

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