“Our current view is that diversified miners will outperform single-product producers in the year ahead,” Jon H Bergtheil, an analyst at Citi, said in a note. “The key observation must be that the diversified miners (with their easier access to capital) should have the edge on a sub-sector comparison basis, but that individual single-commodity producers are quite capable of outperforming their big brothers by simply being managed well.”

Investors interested in metal miners can take a look at broad diversified ETFs. For instance, the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining (NYSEArca: XME) follows an equal-weighted index and includes U.S. companies that produce both industrial and precious metals, along with coal and consumable fuels. [Gold Mining ETFs Top Physical Counterparts]

The iShares MSCI Global Metals & Mining Producers ETF (NYSEArca: PICK) tracks global companies involved in the extraction and production of diversified metals, aluminum, steel and precious metals and minerals, except gold and silver.

Those interested in a focus on smaller companies can look at the Global X Junior Miners ETF (NYSEArca: JUNR), which follows global junior miners involved in cola, copper, gold, iron, nickel, silver, titanium and other metals.

For more information on the mining sector, visit our metals & mining category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.