Chinese company suspends rare earth production

Rare earth oxides
Image caption Rare earths are a group of 17 elements used in the manufacturing of flatscreen TVs and mobile phones

China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in an attempt to stimulate the market.

Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech hopes to boost the slumping prices of the minerals, which are used in TVs, mobile phones and other high-tech devices.

Prices for rare earths have fallen amid the uncertainty about the US and European economic outlooks.

China has about 30% of global rare earth deposits but accounts for about 97% of production.

It is currently merging its rare earth producers to tighten control over the market.

According to Australian miner Lynas, the price of neodymium oxide has fallen 34% since June to $157 per kilogram, while europium oxide is down 35% to $2,904 per kilogram.

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