Principal crops are wheat, sorghum, millet, oats, corn, linseed, soybeans, sugar beets, and rice. There are valuable mineral deposits (coal, lignite, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, rare earths, and natural gas), as yet only partially exploited. The region's industries, centered at Baotou, include iron and steel mills and plants producing fertilizer, cement, textiles, and machinery. A railway built in 1958, linking Russia (through Mongolia) with Lanzhou in Gansu prov., passes through Hohhot and Baotou. The Beijing-Ulaanbaatar road traverses the region. Considerable additional road and rail improvements have been made with the vigorous industrialization of Baotou.