Articles Published in 2011


As you now well know, we like to have some fun and “appreciate metal” between posting on industrial metal market activity. Not surprisingly, these get quite a few reads. I’ll be brief with introducing these, because the real gold is contained within each humorous or metal-appreciative post:

1. Gold Grillz A Hedge Against Dental Monotony – Our most-read humor post of 2011 — who would’ve thought readers were that interested in me musing on rappers’ teeth?

2. Jordan Lead Books Discovery Greater Than Dead Sea Scrolls? Or Just Heavier?

3. All or Nothing in Gold-Rush Alaska – Nate Burgos never ceases to please with his unique takes on metal-related “nerdery,” as he himself recently put it.

4. Real Steel Robots More Real Than We Thought

5. Zippo Lighters Feeling The Heat In Light of Dropping Sales

6. Do War Dogs Have Titanium Teeth? No But They Have Some Sweet Metal Gear – Spend Matters’ maven Sheena Moore came through with this great piece on ‘doggles,’ among other dog-and-metal-related gear.

7. American Industry Through the Lens of Margaret Bourke-White

Have a Happy New Year, all! And here’s to a prosperous 2012.

–Taras Berezowsky


Early in the New Year, we’re planning our release of the brand-new MetalMiner IndX, which will feature (spoiler alert!) daily pricing for several key raw materials among many other price points.

We know that reporting on the raw materials markets is just as key as covering metal production and end-use sectors. Here are some of the posts on raw materials that got a lot of reads in 2011:

1. Softening Iron Ore Prices a Temporary Trend Part One and Part Two

Clearly an essential component of the steelmaking process, especially in Asia, iron ore is always on our radar. Price volatility and updated contracts have both driven iron ore news this year.

2. India’s Rising Coal Imports To Increase Steel Prices

MetalMiner has welcomed a guest contributor from New Delhi, India, TC Malhotra. TC covers Indian metal news for us and how it impacts global markets.

3. Why the Collapse in the Baltic Dry Index?

Ahh, the BDI. Always interesting.

–Taras Berezowsky


A fascinating smattering of MetalMiner stories can be classified under “specialty metals” or “specialty materials” — if not specialty, then at least super-niche-y. This year, the award for Niche Metal of the Year goes to GOES (yep, I just wrote that): Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel. Our colleague Jack Taylor has kept his pulse on the GOES market, and his post, leading off the list below, is the #1 most-read MetalMiner piece of 2011:

1. It’s Not a Rare Earth Metal But Just As Important GOES

2. The Phenomenon of Additive Manufacturing: Is 3D Printing Too Good to Be True? Part One and Part Two

Our coverage of laser sintering and how it makes use of metallic powder (titanium, for example) got a lot of readership. Is it the future of metals? Only time will tell. For now, though, it makes for interesting discussion.

3. Iridium’s Price Skyrocketing What Does It Mean?

“Iridium crucible”? Sounds like a marriage of metals and Arthur Miller. But the spike in iridium prices made for fun speculation.

–Taras Berezowsky


A lot of what affects the global economy — and how that in turn affects metals markets — has to do with China (as the posts below will attest.)

1. 10 Reasons To Short China Part One

Lisa outlined an excellent argument countering the China bulls who view the superpower as Forever Growing.

2. China Vs. India See Which Economy Comes Out On Top

A look at how China stacks up to India economically, but otherwise as well.

3. Has The Commodity Bubble Popped?

Well, had it?

–Taras Berezowsky

Here’s the third episode of MetalMiner Sourcing Outlook, brought to you by Zycus.


In this year-end episode, MetalMiner provides a look ahead to commodity markets in 2012, namely the steel, aluminum and copper sectors. In the One-On-One segment, Lisa Reisman and Stuart Burns discuss these markets in-depth, and give their takes on economic outlooks for the US and Europe in 2012.

The episode is viewable here on the blog (look for this episode and future ones on the left side of the MetalMiner home page as we release them) and on MetalMiner’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to MetalMiner’s YouTube channel if you haven’t already!

The goals of the MetalMiner Sourcing Outlook series include:

  • Providing the viewer with valuable, actionable sourcing commentary in an interesting format that will give him a leg up in his role as a sourcing professional, investor, analyst or simply well-informed individual
  • Delivering a diverse range of segments, touching on metals, energy, international trade, and macroeconomic policy
  • Doing all the above while remaining accessible and not taking ourselves too seriously

Enjoy, and check back in for the next episode!


Arguably, tantalum should have been included in our Best Of Conflict Minerals post, as it is one of the officially classified conflict minerals; and tin is a key non-ferrous metal that is not all that minor, especially as it also fits into the conflict minerals rubric.

Nonetheless, we figured this tripartite of most-read posts fit best into a “minor metals-attracting-major-news-in 2011” sort of category. So here they are.

1. Tantalum Prices About to Go Through The Roof?

One of our best-read posts this year (3rd overall), this tantalum post gets into some rules of thumb when it comes to sourcing the highly prized metal.

2. Tin Prices To Hit Record Levels in First Half of 2011

Not surprisingly, tin reached record highs, and then dropped off. But tin supply is still an issue going into 2012.

3. Thorium May Edge Uranium as Future ËœGo-To’ Nuclear Fuel

“It is widely available in the earth’s crust; the US, for example, has vast reserves as a result of old rare-earth mining waste and Norway has so much it is contemplating research as a second renaissance once oil and gas runs out.” The next big thing in nuclear energy?

–Taras Berezowsky


Can’t get your hands on the rare earth metal you need? No worries! Blow off some steam by playing the game above!

Seriously though, much has been made of the definitions of rare earth “metals” vs. “minerals,” to say nothing of the more substantive issues surrounding global supply and production of them. Molycorp here in the US has made great strides to bringing domestic rare earth production on-line, but the fact remains that most of the market revolves around what Beijing decides to do — and not do, in the case of putting the kibosh on exports.

Here are a few examples of our coverage that were widely read in 2011:

1. China to Go From Seller to Buyer of Rare Earth Metals?

2. We May Not Need Rare Earth Metals After All, Japanese Research Suggests

3. China Re-Nationalizes Rare Earths Part One

–Taras Berezowsky


Copper — or Dr. Copper, as the PhD/MD/JD-wielding base metal insists on being known when introduced at cocktail parties — always keeps things interesting, even though we gain a small percentage of copper buyers as readers (prove us wrong, copper buyers! Read MetalMiner!)

Anyways, copper-driven pieces are sure to generate a buzz, as the red metal influences investment and market direction heavily. Here are our best-read copper posts of 2011:

1. Copper Outlook 2011

How did we fare in our predictions for copper in 2011? (Re)-Read and find out!

2. Copper and Gold Mining Underwater

Nautilus Minerals could begin mining in their Solwara 1 resource off Papua New Guinea as early as 2013. Stuart details exactly how this would happen — and how much it would cost.

3. Copper: In a Dip or On the Slide?

When copper had begun coming off in February, following historic highs to the tune of $10,000 per ton in January, we diagnosed the issue.

–Taras Berezowsky

Source: The Daily Green

Well, folks, the holidays are nigh. And that can only mean one thing.

No, it doesn’t mean you should go hit the spiked nog just yet. It means you should keep checking in with our site for the next week and a half, because the Best Of MetalMiner series is back.

Around special times like these, we take the opportunity to share with you some of the best, most popular or most-read posts of the year. Our fondness for steel leads off the season. Without further ado, here are the five most-read steel and scrap posts of 2011:

1. Steel Outlook 2011: Part One, and Steel Outlook 2011: Part Two

2. Key Performance Indicators Behind Steel End-Market Segments

3. A Successful Year For the LME Steel Billet Contract

4. Ferrous Scrap Prices The First Ride on the Steel Price Rollercoaster?

5. The Iron Ore Scrap Correlation: Does it Correlate to Steel Prices?

Look for many more Best Ofs to come in the days ahead — anything and everything from non-ferrous metal stories to posts on energy, macroeconomics and (especially) humor and metal appreciation.

Thanks for reading us this year!

–Taras Berezowsky


Here are our top aluminum stories of the year. Enjoy!

1. Aluminum Outlook 2011

How close were we to forecasting what actually happened to the aluminum market and prices in 2011? (Re-)Read and find out!

2. New Theory on World Trade Center Collapse Centers on Aluminum

This one caught some flak for somehow perpetuating 9/11 twin-tower myths, although the post simply spoke to the strangeness of the conclusions. Nevertheless, aluminum was for once at the center of a controversy — oh wait, there was that whole LME-aluminum-warehouses-in-Detroit thing…

3. Aluminum Prices: Bucking the Metals Market Trend

How China’s and the Middle East’s (of all places) production and consumption were affecting the aluminum market’s ups and downs near the end of Q1 2011.

–Taras Berezowsky

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