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The first finds of pyrite at Litlabø in Stord came to light in 1864. Forty years later sulphuric ore was mined from an open mine. From 1874 to 1880 it was used for dynamite production. That came to a sudden end when the factory exploded and three people died.
In 1852 Haktor Thorsen erected two large warehouses on one of his farms in Sunde and started trading and salting herring. This was the start of an industrial adventure that made Sunde into one of the first industrial communities in Kvinnherad.
There is still a lot of ore in the abandoned mines on Varaldsøy Island. If today's prices and availability of ore continue, it is doubtful whether the mines will resume operation. But, the pyrite is there, if the market should return. On Varaldsøy Island one finds at least nine mines and prospect pits, that for the most part date back to the latter part of the 1800s.