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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of the big three iron-ore extractors surged Thursday after one of Vale's (VALE) - Get Vale SA Report top managers made bold statements about economic recovery and further robust demand for raw materials, especially out of China.

Other tailwinds blew mining stocks higher Thursday, not the least of which was stronger-than-expected growth in the U.S. GDP, interpreted wide and far as a signal of a gathering rebound in the world economy. Buoyed though it was by lots of government stimulus, including the cash-for-clunkers program, the GDP figure not only drove U.S. equities higher Thursday but also shares of companies in the so-called emerging markets, including Vale's Brazil.

The company's New York-listed American depositary receipts gained 10.2%, or $2.46, to $26.68. Volume surpassed 43 million ADRs; daily average turnover in the name is about 25 million.

In a conference call to discuss Vale's third quarter earnings, its finance chief, Fabio Barbosa, said, "We have no expectations of a reversal of demand." Other Barbosa soundbites, according to a Reuters report on the conference call:

"The global economic recovery is likely to be sustainable."

"We continue to be extremely confident in the future of our company."

"This has nothing to do with speculative demand; this is the result of actual growth taking place in carbon steel output, combined with a replacement of domestic ore for imported ore."

In the last comment, Barbosa was referring to the opinions of some market observers, who believe speculation and Chinese stockpiling of raw materials have created a kind of false demand for raw materials like copper, iron ore and coal.

On Wednesday, Vale, the biggest of the big three iron-ore miners, reported earnings of about $1.68 billion for the quarter, down 65% from a year ago, when commodities prices were still caught in a bubble before the full effect of the financial collapse and recession laid markets low.

The company's Australian rivals,

BHP Billiton

(BHP) - Get BHP Group Ltd. Report

and

Rio Tinto

(RTP) - Get Reinvent Technology Partners Class A Report

, saw their equities trade higher Thursday as well. The ADRs of the former rose 3.7% to $69.14, while those of the latter jumped 6.5% to $185.54.

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Investors poured into commodities-related stocks in general Thursday following several days of equally steep declines, particularly in shares of metals and mining concerns. The moves to the upside and downside were both triggered by macroeconomic data, demonstrating how volatile the markets have become, especially the dollar-sensitive commodities names, here on the cusp of possible recovery -- or the widely feared double dip.

Gold names exploded during the session as the price of the yellow metal itself gained ground and the dollar weakened.

Also, two of the gold industry's biggest miners reported better-than-expected third quarter results:

Newmont

(NEM) - Get Newmont Corporation Report

mining and

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

, whose shares gained 3.6% and 7% respectively.

Elsewhere, copper and gold producer

Freeport McMoran

(FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. Report

saw its stock advance 6.4%. Shares of aluminum smelter

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report

spiked 9%, while the Canadian diversified miner

Teck Resources

(TCK)

saw its stock price advanced 7%.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.