Gold miner exchange traded funds may be gathering strength to finally outperform bullion on low valuations and a shift to gold-related stocks.

Gold producers are heading for an “inflection point” triggering a rally, Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) CEO Aaron Regent told Bloomberg.

Miner ETFs have lagged bullion prices by a wide margin in recent years during gold’s relentless march higher. [Gold ETFs on a Tear as Metal Pushes Toward $1,800]

They have been punished as investors decided the shares should no longer trade as a proxy for physical gold, Regent said in the Bloomberg article. [Silver Miner ETFs Keep Pace with Metal’s Price Rise]

The rising popularity and ease of investing in gold ETFs has likely diverted money away from miner stocks. [Gold Miner ETFs Look to Catch Up to Bullion in 2012]

The NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index, a benchmark of gold miners, has advanced 53% in the past five years while spot gold traded in London has more than doubled, according to Bloomberg. [Small-Cap Gold Miner ETF Jumps Nearly 30% in a Month]