Ten amazing metal stories from 2012

In addition to news items concerning landmark mergers and acquisitions, dramatic movements in spot prices and paradigm-shifting market developments, the past year has also seen more than its fair share of strange and quirky stories concerning both the base metals we employ regularly in everyday life, or the precious metals we covet and esteem as prudent investment purchases.

We've compiled what we think are some the most memorable, fascinating and amusing stories on both base and precious metals from the past twelve months, listed below in no particular order:

1. Silver nano-particles used to make HIV-resistant super prophylactic

2. Ancient Buddhist statue found in Tibet carved from meteorite

3. Aluminum has potential as eco-friendly auto fuel

4. On why copper is the immune system's deadliest weapon

5. Record-breaking haul of silver recovered from WW II shipwreck

6. Scientists make gold with a philosopher's stone of microbes

7. Rash of daring copper wire thefts hit the US

8. Let termites find gold deposits for us!

9. Brazil's Vale to make billions off copper devouring microbes

10. NASA takes asteroid mining serious – funds viability study