The Merrill Lynch World Mining investment trust reported a rise in net asset value of 61.2% for the 12 months to December 31. It substantially outperformed its benchmark HSBC Global Mining index, which rose 52.1%. The trust has benefited from the weaker dollar and strong demand from China. Manager Graham Birch believes that mining equities still have potential to attract investor interest, despite substantial rises. Birch says the outlook for commodity prices is bright and China is still providing long-term demand. He also expects to see a continued uptrend in the gold market.