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News Summary: China rare earths miner halts output

PRICE SUPPORT: China's biggest rare earths producer has suspended production in an effort to shore up plunging prices of the material, which is used by makers of mobile phones and other high-tech products.

UNCERTAINTY: The state-owned company, Baotou Steel Rare Earth (Group) Hi-tech Co., gave no indication when production would resume.

BACKGROUND: China has about 30 percent of rare earths deposits but accounts for more than 90 percent of production. The country wants more of the profits that flow to the Western manufacturers that use the minerals.