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Commodities

US and Australia team up against China's dominance in rare earths

Japan also joins bid to lessen Beijing's ability to wield minerals in disputes

Lynas' rare earth mine at Mount Weld, Western Australia: These minerals are not as rare as advertised, but China has a near monopoly on processing and refining them. 

SYDNEY -- An Australian rare-earth producer has enlisted an American partner to help it chip away at China's dominance in supplying minerals that are crucial to making smartphones, missiles, batteries for electric vehicles and a long list of high-tech products.

Lynas, the world's only major rare-earth producer outside China, has signed a deal with Texas-based Blue Line to set up a separation facility in the U.S. Operations could begin in 2021.

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