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Death of Zimbabwean-born mining tycoon Philip Pascall

20 September 2023

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FQM) announced the death of its Co-Founder and Chairman, Philip Pascall, on 19 September 2023. According to the press release, Pascall died peacefully at home in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in 1947 and would have turned 76 years old this year.

The press release summed up his achievements as: "Under his leadership, Philip instilled an entrepreneurial and bold culture that saw the Company grow from a 10,000 tonnes tailings re-processor with the Bwana Mkubwa project in Zambia to one of the world’s largest copper producers with operations spanning five continents and employing more than 20,000 people globally".

FQM is a global mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and is ranked number 41 with a market capitalisation of $17.6 billion. The company’s reputation as one of the world’s leading producers of copper (775,859 tonnes in 2022) was cemented in Zambia, which still accounts for half of its global copper production. 

Kansanshi Zambia copper mine processing plant conveyor belts for haulage aerial view. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Aerial view of Kansanshi Copper Mine processing plant conveyor belts for haulage. Photo credit: Shutterstock

FQM currently owns mines in Zambia (copper, gold and nickel), Panama (copper, gold, molybdenum and silver), Finland (copper, pyrite and zinc), Mauritania (copper and gold), Argentina (copper, gold and molybdenum), Spain (copper), Turkey (copper and zinc) and Australia (nickel and cobalt).

Personal tribute by Kwalela Lamaswala

“Knowledgeable, inspiring and loyal”

Three words to describe Philip Pascal by Kwalela Lamaswala. 19 September 2023

Philip Pascall was born in Zimbabwe. He studied control engineering at the University of Sussex and later did an MBA at the University of Cape Town. He worked in the mining sector around the world and was also the co-owner of an engineering company called Nedpac Engineering between 1982 and 1990.

In an exclusive interview with ONGOLO, I asked one of his personal friends and former business partner, Kwalela Lamaswala, for insights about the man few of us knew but who made a significant contribution to the Zambian mining sector. 

Kwalela Lamaswala (centre) seated with Philip and Tristan Pascall (both to the left of the photo) at the 2011 Kuomboka ceremony in Western Province of Zambia. Photo credit: Kwalela Lamaswala
Kwalela Lamaswala (centre) seated with Philip and Tristan Pascall (both to the left of the photo) at the 2011 Kuomboka ceremony in Western Province of Zambia. Photo credit: Kwalela Lamaswala

Lamaswala and Pascall became partners in a safari company called Lion Heart Safaris in 1988. They decided to go into mining in 1992 when they founded Western Mining. The first project they did was reprocessing the tailings (leftovers from the mining process) at Bwana Mkubwa mines. 

Bwana Mkubwa was founded in 1902 and is the oldest mine on the Copperbelt, the mineral-rich province in Zambia. Western Mining bought Bwana Mkubwa from the previous owners in 1996 when they saw the potential to do more mining. When the acquisition was announced, some people in Zambia were skeptical about the potential of Bwana Mkubwa and a local newspaper published an article dismissing their vision of creating a multi-million dollar mine in Zambia.

Western Mining needed money to expand and fund projects such as the construction of the $32m copper processing plant, which opened two years later in 1998. The co-founders realised that it would be challenging for a Zambian-based company to raise money from international  investors. Western Mining was later acquired by the Canadian company, First Quantum Minerals (FQM), which paved the way for expansion. The establishment of Kansanshi Copper Mine in North Western Province in 2001 exceeded their wildest dreams and made FQM a global giant.

FQM Co-Founder & Chairman, Philip Pascal with his wife and Likezo Sakala, grand daughter of Kwalela Lamaswala at Trident School in North Western Province of Zambia. Photo credit: Kwalela Lamaswala
FQM Co-Founder & Chairman, Philip Pascal with his wife and Likezo Sakala, grand daughter of Kwalela Lamaswala, who is a student at the international boarding school, Trident College in North Western Province of Zambia. Trident College was established by FQM. Photo credit: Kwalela Lamaswala

Lamaswala described Pascall as a brilliant business leader, who was forward-looking and found to be approachable by his employees. As a friend, he was knowledgeable, inspiring and loyal. Lamaswala called him a “complete friend”.

Philip Pascall 1947 - 2023. May his soul rest in peace.

© 2023 Muloongo Muchelemba. All Rights Reserved

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