The Massoud Memorial Mining Institute

A proposal for establishing an NGO in Afghanistan for the exploitation of the country's substantial gem deposits has been proposed by Gary Bowersox, president of GeoVision in Honolulu, a firm specializing in gems from Afghanistan. Bowersox, who for the past three decades has traveled to Afghanistan every year but one—2002—says of the new NGO: "It should help increase miners' income, employment, and government revenue in one of the poorest countries in the world by raising current gem production to between $300 million and $400 million per year. "Its tragic history since the Russian invasion in 1979 has prevented these resources from being exploited, except for some gem deposits, which have been mined on a very small and inefficient scale," Bowersox says. He notes that gemstone mining has brought dramatic increases in the standard of living in parts of Afghanistan, chiefly in the Pa

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