• President Hichilema dismissed reports that the miners were illegally working at the site.
• Zambia is among the top copper producers in the world and informal mining is common in the country.
Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema says he is still hopeful that dozens of miners trapped five days ago by a mudslide at an open-pit copper mine are still alive.
The accident happened at Seseli Mine in Chingola, about 400 km (250 miles) north-west of the capital Lusaka, after miners were trapped in three locations following heavy rains in the area.
"We should not yet mourn these [trapped] people because God is a God of wonders. We will find some of our people alive down here," Mr Hichilema told a gathering of thousands of people, including families of the trapped miners in Chingola on Tuesday.
It remains unclear how many miners were trapped but Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe said on Monday that 25 families had so far come forward to claim missing relatives who were working when the accident happened.
Rescue efforts are continuing.
President Hichilema dismissed reports that the miners were illegally working at the site, adding that his government would ensure safe mining practices to prevent future tragic accidents.
Zambia is among the top copper producers in the world and informal mining is common in the country.