President Hakainde Hichilema has announced that the government will expedite the process of legalizing the mining of sugilite in Luapula province. Sugilite is a rare, violet-colored gemstone that is only found in a few places in the world, including Zambia.
The president made the announcement in response to a request from Chief Chisunka of Mansa District, who paid a courtesy call on him at Community House, in Lusaka. Chief Chisunka, who is also the Chairperson of the House of Chiefs, appealed to President Hichilema to quickly legalise the mining of sugilite in Luapula.
President Hichilema said that the government is committed to ensuring that it accelerates the process of issuing mining licenses to communities near sugilite deposits. He urged Chief Chisunka to discourage local people from selling mining licenses once issued to them. The Head of State said communities must be encouraged to invest in mining so that they benefit from the endowments.
The decision to legalize sugilite mining in Luapula is a welcome one for the province and its residents. Sugilite is a valuable gemstone that has the potential to generate significant economic benefits for the region. The mining of sugilite could create jobs, boost incomes, and attract investment to Luapula.