Africa\'s biggest copper producer Zambia on Thursday lifted a temporary ban on metal exports that was put in place while new rules were drawn up, the Chamber of Mines said. \"The latest development is that the companies are allowed to continue exporting until the new regulations are in place,\" the chamber\'s general manager Fredrick Bantubonse told AFP. All metal exports were halted earlier this week according to a circular from the ministry of mines which announced that all current permits were suspended until the government had formulated the new guidelines. \"All current permits issued by my ministry are immediately suspended pending issuance of new guidelines by the government,\" permanent secretary Godwin Beene said in the notice. This followed a directive from new President Michael Sata, who took office on September 23, on metal export procedures. The new rules were expected to be ready by October 16. As the world\'s seventh-largest copper producer, the metal accounts for 85 percent of exports, but cobalt, lead, gold, silver and emeralds are also mined.