While gold prices have skyrocketed over the last couple of years, gold miner stocks and exchange traded funds have been lagging behind. Gold producers, though, are beginning to entice investors with higher dividend payouts.

Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX) has a 12-month yield of 0.64%. Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ) has a 12-month yield of 7.90%.

HSBC projects gold will hit $2,025 an ounce in 2012 and stay at a long-term average of $1,800, according to The Street. Meanwhile, gold mining stocks have not experienced the same levels of appreciations seen in gold prices.

“Valuations look more appealing than we can remember,” commented RMB Morgan Stanley. [Gold Miners ETF Pares Gains After Breakout]

“We’ve seen them cheaper than any other time in my career in almost 30 years,” David Christensen, CEO of ASA Gold and Precious Metals (NYSE: ASA), remarked.

However, investors and analysts have not been diving into the stocks, but that may change given the right incentive. “Investors are going to demand a dividend,” David Nadel, co-portfolio manager of the Royce Global Value Fund, said. “[Miners] are going to have to pay a lot more.”