Bamiyan Panorama

Bamiyan Panorama

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Precious gems of Afghanistan

In June of 2010 the United States Government 'discovered' vast amounts of minerals and precious gems in Afghanstan.

"The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe."        (Quote from NYTimes article)

Now let me introduce you to Inside Afghanistan.  A woman named Bonita Chamberlain who spent much time in Afghanistan under 5 different regimes, co-authored a book titled 'Gemstones of Afghanistan' in 1995.   Here is a quote from Bonita:

"Bonita Chamberlin has this rebuttal "I am quite surprised that the military is announcing this as some "new" and "surprising" discovery since we knew about it in 1982 and published the information in 1995. In “Gemstones of Afghanistan”, we identified 91 minerals, metals and gems at 1,407 potential mining sites. This included, among other minerals, copper, iron, lead, zinc, mercury, beryllium, lithium, rare earths and metals, plus oil and gas reserves.  Our findings were reported by the Los Angeles Times in 2001. Since the 1980s we have been traveling around the country speaking about this. Proposals were sent to the UNDP, USAID and other NGOs that the gem and mineral mine development would be a crop substitution to poppies as Afghanistan is sitting on this enormous wealth. This is NOT new. Perhaps this also hints at the real reason why we would be so intent on this war...."         (Quote from

Interesting, huh?  The US Government has been missing a big opportunity for *potentially* helping Afghanistan since the 80's! 

Please visit the site and learn about what they are doing.  They sell jewelry made and mined by people in the province of Nuristan.  I bought a beautiful blue topaz necklace and love it.  The money goes back to Afghanistan to help clear landmines and promote education, etc...

1 comment:

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