It's been a pretty rough year for stock investors, with the S&P basically ending flat in 2011. While the general market went nowhere last year, quite a few stocks poured in monster performances.

After a volatile year, gold was up 10% going into the last week of 2011, while silver was down 4%. Copper was one of the largest losers, with a 34% drop. Most gold and silver miners have been lagging their respective metals.

SPDR Gold Trust ETF Stock Chart


SPDR Gold Trust ETF Stock Chart by YCharts

While the metals didn't move up much this year, some miners have made up significant ground. Here's a list of this year's top 15 performers in the metals and mining industry:

 

Company

YTD Return

1 Haynes International (Nasdaq: HAYN)  35.6%
2 Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK)  35.2%
3 Carpenter Technology  33.9%
4 Royal Gold (Nasdaq: RGLD)  26.7%
5 Randgold Resources (Nasdaq: GOLD)  26.4%
6 First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG)  24.0%
7 Allied Nevada Gold  21.5%
8 Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY)  21.4%
9 Harmony Gold Mining  21.2%
10 Franco-Nevada  17.3%
11 Fortuna Silver Mines  17.2%
12 Central GoldTrust  13.0%
13 Extorre Gold Mines  11.7%
14 Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI)  9.8%
15 AngloGold Ashanti  8.8%

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Only includes companies listed on U.S. exchanges with a market capitalization greater than $500 million.

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Unfortunately, Dan Dzombak does not own any of the stocks in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.