Executive team

Thierry Martel

Chief Executive Officer 
Thierry has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of plant engineering, mineralogy, mining, plant optimization, project development, project and asset performance recovery programs, business transformation, mining innovation and executive management. His prior experiences include work as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President at Rio Tinto Iron Ore Company of Canada, General Management roles in Alcan and Rio Tinto between 2005 and 2019, Engineering consulting and project delivery between 1993 and 2005. Thierry has a Civil Engineering degree from UNB.

Thomas Bækø

Chief Operating Officer
Thomas joined Sydvaranger in January 2009, contributing to the construction, commissioning and operations teams. He was born and raised in the Kirkenes region. After the commission phase, Thomas held the position of production superintendent. From 2011 until 2013, he became production manager at a large iron ore project in West Africa. In that role his responsibilities were operational readiness, commissioning, maintenance and operations. From 2014 and up to November 2015, Thomas returned as the processing manager at Sydvaranger before re-joining the project in April 2016 as a project manager and later moved to the role of COO.

Melinda Moore

Sales & Marketing Director
Melinda holds a B.Ec (Hons) from Monash University and a Grad. Dip in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. She has over 25 years’ experience working in investing, financing, strategy, risk management and commercial roles, servicing the global steel, mining & energy industries. She has previously worked with BHP Billiton as a commodity marketing strategist and more recently, with the world’s largest Bank, ICBC in commodity sales and financing origination. Melinda also serves on the executive committee of Women in Mining UK (www.womeninmining.org.uk) as Finance Director and Head of the Global Outreach Committee.

Arianne Heitmann Beckmand

Administration, IT and Communications Manager
Arianne is Sydvaranger’s Administration, IT and Communications Manager and has been with the Company since August 2018, when she initially started as the Company’s HR and Administration Manager. Prior to this, Arianne provided administrative support to the executive management team as well as functioning as the Company’s Translator on a part time basis over a period of 2 years. Arianne first joined the Sydvaranger project in September 2008 where she worked as the Executive PA until early 2015, when she was promoted to the role of Administration Manager. Arianne is currently also a Director of COOP Finnmark, and her prior work experience includes being an advisor to a local small business and having held various positions within the local government and hotel industry. Arianne is proudly born and raised in the Kirkenes region.

Ylva Wård

Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager
Ylva is Sydvaranger’s Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager (HSEQ-Manager) and has been with the Company since May 2019, when she initially started as the Senior Environmental Engineer. Ylva has a master’s degree in Soil Science and Environmental studies from the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) in Umeå, Sweden.  Ylva has worked in the mining industry (5 years) and as environmental consultant (6 years) in Sweden and Canada prior coming to Sydvaranger. Ylva has worked with Closure and Reclamation planning for mining-, oil- and gas projects, environmental investigations, contaminated site investigations and environmental assessments.

Marius Aaen Svendsen

Maintenance Manager
Marius is Sydvaranger’s Maintenance Manager and has been with the Company since 2016. He holds a BSc degree in Mechanical engineering, specializing in maintenance- and operational techniques from the university of Sør-Trøndelag. He initially joined the Sydvaranger project from 2013 to 2015, as maintenance planning superintendent. He then joined Sibelco, where he for the period 2015 – 2016 was their technical manager whilst simultaneously holding the role of roll-out champion for Lean-maintenance in Norway.

Anita Kurthi

Human Resources Manager
Anita is Sydvaranger’s Human Resources Manager, a position she has held since August 2019. She is born and raised in Sør-Varanger. Anita has a master’s degree in Business & Administration from UIT, The Arctic University of Norway, and more than 20 years of experience with personnel management at various levels. Previous work experience includes project management of development- and operational projects as well as numerous implementation processes.

Jan Erik Nilssen

Purchasing Manager
Jan Erik – originally from Telemark, but currently residing in the mining town of Bjørnevatn – has been Sydvaranger’s Purchasing Manager since June 2019. Ha became part of the Sydvaranger project during the summer of 2009, where he for the period 2009 – 2016 held positions such as production plant coordinator, superintendent mechanical maintenance and test production mechanic. For the period 2017 – 2019 his work focused on discontinued spare parts mapping and sales, prior to being promoted and responsible for establishing and developing the Company’s purchasing department. Previous work experience includes running his own restaurant, being team-leader for Becromal SpA and a process technician for EKA-Nobel and Union Bruk.
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