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10 Best-Performing Mining Stocks in 2010

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These best-performing metals & mining stocks surged in the range of 61% to 190% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 Index and the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) gained around 10.7% and 26.5%, respectively.

Precious metals stocks dominate the list, given the current upsurge in these metals prices. During 2010, gold, silver, platinum and palladium for spot delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained around 26%, 72%, 16% and 84%, respectively. In comparison, copper, aluminum and nickel for spot delivery on the London Metal Exchange were up 24%, 5% and 32%, respectively. Meanwhile, lead remained relatively flat year-to-date, while zinc declined 11% on the LME.

The continued uptrend in metals prices could support a rally in metals & mining stocks in 2011. Some of these 10 stocks may continue to outperform their peers and broader markets.

Analysts favor some of these stocks as indicated by the percentage of buy ratings and the upside implied from the consensus estimates of target price.

The stocks are ordered by 2010 return, from great to greatest.

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