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Photo: Þorlákshöfn port, Facebook.

Sale and Use of Sandfell Mountain Raises Questions

Gavin Anthony, chairman of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Iceland, the owner of Sandfell mountain, has recently stated his support for the sale of mining rights to Sandfell. The mountain, currently already mined for cement additives, may soon be mined away in its entirety and shipped to Europe for further processing.

The project has, however, raised some eyebrows among local residents who object to the plans.

Cost of a mountain

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church acquired the mountain in a purchase from Eden Mining in January of this year. Currently, the plan is to sell the mountain to Heidelberg Cement, a German mining concern.

Questioned by Vísir about the sale, Mr. Anthony expressed his approval “in all respects” for the project, stating that it had reached an agreement with Eden Mining for the rights, but would not be directly involved.

Mr. Anthony also highlighted the economic benefits for the entire community, saying that it would result in job creation for the entire region. Sandfell is located near Hellisheiði, the highland area that separates the capital region from the South Coast. If the plan goes through, the material would be shipped through Þorlákshöfn, a small town and port in the region. 

Moving mountains

However, the project has met with critique from both the congregation itself and local residents.

In a statement, Mr. Anthony said that the skeptics within the congregation were more considered with the details of the project rather than the matter itself. He noted that the agreement reached was binding,  and would not be cancelled.

Not all details of the agreement have been made public, but the agreement is expected to provide financially for the congregation for years to come. Vísir reports a minimum amount of ISK 15 million per year, but beyond that, the figures are unclear.


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