Three individuals have recently been apprehended in the Mansa District of Luapula Province on charges of unlawful possession of suspected Sugilite mineral ore and criminal trespass. The suspects, namely Nelson Kalembwe, 43 years old, from Nchelenge District; Zebedi Lukwesa, 39 years old, from Chilanga in Lusaka; and Morton Sikazwe, 31 years old, from Mansa District, were discovered in possession of the alleged mineral ore at a lodge in Mansa District on July 3, 2023. The arrest was made following a tip-off provided by a concerned member of the public.
Additionally, it is alleged that the trio trespassed on the premises of Katros Mine Limited, where they engaged in blasting activities and collected a quantity of minerals suspected to be Sugilite at around 20:00 hours on July 2, 2023.
To determine the nature of the suspected mineral ore, it has been handed over to the Ministry of Mines for further examination and laboratory testing.
At present, all three suspects remain in police custody as they await formal charges to be brought against them.
Sugilite, the mineral in question, is a rare and valuable gemstone known for its vibrant purple coloration. It is primarily composed of potassium, sodium, lithium, iron, and manganese, and is often found in association with other minerals like quartz and black manganese oxides. Due to its scarcity and striking appearance, Sugilite has gained popularity in the jewelry industry.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Sugilite has also been associated with various metaphysical properties and healing benefits. It is believed to promote spiritual growth, enhance psychic abilities, and bring about emotional balance and protection. Some individuals use Sugilite for meditation, as it is thought to aid in accessing higher states of consciousness.
Given its rarity and demand, Sugilite holds significant commercial value, particularly in the gemstone market. However, any mining or possession of the mineral must adhere to legal regulations and obtain the necessary permits to ensure responsible and sustainable practices.
The investigation into the alleged possession of Sugilite mineral ore by the three suspects continues, and the authorities are committed to upholding the law and safeguarding the country’s mineral resources.
For further information, please contact: Danny Mwale Deputy Police Public Relations Officer