``China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other hi-tech products... Beijing is merging its rare earths producers to tighten control over production, sales and pricing. It announced in June that Baotou Steel would become the only miner, refiner and seller of rare earths in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, a production centre. It said 35 other companies there would be merged or closed.''

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