Visitors to an abandoned silver mine in Iceland are apparently stealing ore with impunity, despite the taking of silver being strictly forbidden.
Helgustaðanáma is an old Icelandic spar mine in east Iceland, just north of Reyðarfjörður. The area is protected, but open to visitors, although the taking of ore from the mine is expressly forbidden.
Despite this, RÚV reports that visitors to the mine have been filling their pockets and, in some cases, even whole backpacks with silver-laden ore.
This has effectively put the mine on the “red list”, a tourist industry term for areas that are experiencing considerable strain from visitors, and in need of immediate attention.
Sævar Guðjónsson, who works for the tourist office in Eskifjörður, fears that the silver in the mine will soon be emptied, and believes there should be a sentry on duty at the location.