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:
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:
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.
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
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.
“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?
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:
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:
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:
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…