'Midas touch' bacteria, gold roller coaster and risky countries among top stories of 2013

Midas touch bacteria, gold roller coaster and risky countries among top stories of 2013This year will go down as the one when gold stop glittering and miners faced increasing financial and political challenges that forced them to tighten their belts and deal with a cycle that turned against them. While most eyes were on gold prices and massive write-downs, our readers also found the following stories worth reading:

1.- Bacteria with superpowers

Canadian scientist at McMaster University, in Ontario, identified bacteria able to turn toxic water-soluble gold into microscopic nuggets of the solid precious metal. The piece was our number one by far, with almost 36,000 visits, around 1,400 Facebook recommendations and over 50 Tweets.Midas touch bacteria

 2.- American CEO’s “love letter” to French minister

While not 100% mining-related, this story attracted quite a few visitors.  After all, not everyday you get to read a letter by a businessman asking a French minister “how stupid” he thought Americans were. Too bad we never saw the reply. Over 26,000 people read this story, 300 shared it in Facebook and over a dozen in Tweeter.

3.- World's top 10 gold deposits

One of our knowledgeable contributors took the third spot with this story, pulling in close to 26,000 visits, over 110 likes in Facebook and dozens of tweets.

4.- How and why the gold crash was inevitable

With a headline like that, no wonder this concise explanation of one of this year’s most followed commodities behaviour was read by more than 25,200 people.

5.- $195 billion in metal and fuel flying past the earth

An asteroid that flew past our planet in February it said to have contained up to $195 billion of easy-to-recover iron, nickel and other metals. The company that triggered the alert also said it planned to send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the solar system to hunt for resources.

6.- Death of mining executives in Mexico

What it first looked like the recovery of two bodies belonging to top managers at US-based exploration firm Southridge Minerals (PINKSHEETS: SRGE), turned out to be a scam by a firm with a known crooked past.

Nearly 21,000 read the stories, which also generated quite the discussion in a known investors forum.

7.- Not that rich any longer, but never forgotten: this year mining billionaires

Presented in a unique slideshow format, this piece grabbed the interest of more than 18,000 readers and was amply shared in social networks.

8.- Gold production costs around the globe

During the worst year for gold in over three decades, these kinds of stories sold like hot cakes. This infographic analysed cash costs per ounce for the world's top 50 producing gold mines.

9. Why mining investors should stay way from these countries

A report on Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index, published early this month, became a top-seller rather quickly. Almost 15,000 readers learned how corrupted governments can be equally or more detrimental to the industry than resource nationalism.

10.- Our loyal science lovers treasured this brief note about Canadian geoscientists who found the oldest water on Earth in underground mine. 14,500 plus read this piece, and almost 400 shared it in Facebook.

We want to hear which one was your favourite story this year…Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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(Main image background copyright: Syda Productions)