Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SIL) is up 26% over the past month to lead all unleveraged ETFs. The volatile sector is rising more than gold and silver prices on further easing from central banks and weakness in the U.S. dollar.

“While the metal appeared to be back on track to start 2012, this soon dissipated as the dollar strengthened in the face of European woes and investors shunned commodities for stocks once more. However, this trend appears to be reversing yet again as silver prices have taken off in recent weeks and have finally breached the $30/oz. level for the first time in months,” Eric Dutram wrote in a recent Zacks article. [Prospecting the Gold and Silver Miner ETFs]

Since the Federal Reserve announced another round of quantitative easing, precious metals have been in focus for investors wary about inflationary pressure. Many countries have debased the value of their fiat currencies, which has given physical assets more worth to maintain purchasing power. Some investors view miner ETFs as leveraged bets on precious metals.

In the future, rising energy prices could be a concern within the mining industry. If energy prices spike, the cost to produce silver will rise above the current level of about $25 per ounce. [Why Jim Rogers Favors Silver ETFs]

Silver may be undervalued compared to gold. For those investors comparing the metals, the silver-to-gold ratio is about 52 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold.

SIL has a 0.65% expense ratio.

Global X Silver Miners ETF

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article. 

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.