Mines and Minerals Development, Deputy Minister, Boniface Nkhata, says studies conducted by the Geological Survey Department in 2007 have indicted some positive signs of oil deposites in .
Mr. Nkhata told Parliamernt, today, that the districts identified with signs of oil deposits include Samfya, Kawambwa, and Kaputa districts.
He said government will soon advertise for bids during the next bidding period and will be closed mid next year in 2010.
Mr. Nkhata was responding to Chifunabuli Member of Parliament (MP) Ernest Mwansa who wanted to know the progress made in the oil prospecting exercise in Luapula Province.
Mr Mwansa also wanted to know the number of the districts that are earmarked for oil prospecting.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nkhata said Nchanga Smelter lost US$ 25 million after it was gutted by fire in April 2009.
He said US$ 20 million was from production losses while the remainder was used to repair the smelter which was damaged by some molten materials.
He has however disclosed said that management at the company has since put up strict measure to avoid the occurrence of a similar incident in future.
The Deputy Minster was responding to a question by from Kanchibiya MP Davis Mwango who wanted to know the total financial loss Nchanga smelter incurred in 2008 after its closure after been gutted.