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Metals and Mining: Winners and Losers

Stocks in this article: AKS NUE TCK MGN MMG PLG ATI GNI

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mines Management (MGN), Metalline Mining (MMG), and Platinum Group Metals (PLG) were among the top gainers, while Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Great Northern Iron Ore Properties (GNI), and Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) topped the losers' list last week.

Mines Management accumulated 25.2% last week. The company recently announced the completion of its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Montanore silver-copper project in the U.S. The outcome of the assessment shows that the project will experience robust growth, considering the current cost and metal price environment. Meanwhile, Metalline Mining and Platinum Group Metals scaled up 19.1% and 13.7%, respectively.

Alexco Resources (AXU) rose 10.7% after announcing closure of the equity financing deal through which it had issued five million common shares priced at C$8.20 per share. The proceeds will be used for funding project development, ongoing exploration activities, and for working capital purposes.

Silver prices rallied by a whopping 81% during 2010, as economic concerns forced investors and funds to turn towards precious metals. With silver prices touching record highs during the final week of 2010, silver stocks such as Mag Silver (MVG), Endeavour Silver (EXK), and Silver Wheaton (SLW) accumulated gains of 9.3%, 8.1%, and 6.3%, respectively.

Tracking silver prices, palladium and platinum prices performed significantly well. Thereby, North American Palladium (PAL) gained 7.4% during the week.

Past week, coal prices soared on supply shortage concerns, especially in the scenario of China leading the demand revival for industrial metals. Among major coal stocks, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), International Coal Group (ICO), Teck Resources (TCK), and Patriot Coal (PCX) were up 8.3%, 6.9%, 6.6%, and 5.9%, respectively.

Allegheny Technologies (ATI) headed the losers' list, plunging 8.9%. The company is facing a $778 million lawsuit for the Ladish acquisition deal. The acquisition which was probably the largest in 2010 is now challenged in court claiming that there were material misstatements and omissions in the public filings with the U.S. SEC by Ladish.

Great Northern Iron Ore Properties fell 4% past week, after Citron Research issued a negative report on the company. The research company believes that the liquidation value of the company and the current trading price do not correlate. Meanwhile, Kaiser Aluminum declined 2.9%.

AK Steel (AKS) dropped 1.2% after Morningstar initiated coverage on the stock with an issuer rating of BB- as it believes that the company faces a structural disadvantage for being less vertically integrated and having low-cost peers. Recently, AK Steel said it would close its Ashland Kentucky Coke plant by the second quarter of 2011, as increased maintenance costs and stringent environmental standards are rendering the plant less efficient.

Nucor (NUE) dipped 1.7%. The company recently raised the base price for hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and galvanized products by $30 per ton on rising raw material and input costs. Meanwhile, Nucor has upped its regular quarterly cash dividend to 36.25 cents per share from the earlier 36 cents per share.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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