The Namibian Press Agency reports the discovery of large deposits of iron ore that are the first found in the mineral-rich southwest African country.

The agency quotes the Namibia East China Minerals Exploration and Development company as saying the deposit of 2.37 billion tons (2.41 billion metric tons) has a lifespan of about 100 years.

It quotes geologists at the site in northwest Kunene region as saying the lode is 7 kilometers (more than 4 miles) long and about 160 meters (525 feet) deep.

In a report Tuesday the agency quotes Deputy Industry Minister Tjekero Tweya as saying he will travel to China soon to further negotiate development of the high-value industrial iron ore.

A host of other minerals are mined in Namibia including diamonds, gold, copper, uranium and lead.