Zambia, Africa's biggest copper producer, has suspended the renewal and issuance of new mining licenses until it completes an audit of the sector, the company said Thursday.

The suspension is one of the first acts of Pres. Michael Sata who took office Sept. 23 and has publicly vowed to clean up cronyism and corruption in the nation's civil service, which handles mining licenses.

Zambia is Africa's largest copper producer, the world's seventh-largest copper producer and also a producer of gold and silver.