At the start of this year, gold miners stocks and the exchange traded funds holdings those shares commenced one of the great Lazarus acts in recent memory in the ETF universe.

After being bludgeoned and left for dead in 2013, a year that for some represents the end of gold’s unprecedented bull market, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) and other mining ETFs rebounded in spectacular fashion. [Remember These Mining ETFs]

For a good part of the first quarter, a list of the top-10 non-leveraged ETFs to that point in 2014 was likely to be comprised of several gold miners ETFs. That was the result of GDX gaining almost 26% from the start of the year to its March peak. GDXJ’s run was even more jaw-dropping as the largest ETF tracking small-cap miners surged 37% from Jan. 2 to March 13. [Mining ETFs Top Physical Gold Funds]

But in fashion that is eerily reminiscent of the recent declines experienced by biotechnology, Internet and social media ETFs, GDX, GDXJ and rival gold mining ETFs have significantly slumped since mid-March.

Arguably, it feels as though gold mining ETFs, despite the combined $9.4 billion residing in GDX and GDXJ, have tumbled in stealth fashion. After all, market observers have been busy lamenting the fate of once high-flying biotech and Internet ETFs. [Momentum ETFs Pounded Again]

Perhaps too busy to notice that this year’s gains for the major gold mining ETFs have are almost all gone. For example, GDXJ entered Tuesday’s session with a 6.76% year-to-date gain, but the ETF fell 4.8% yesterday. GDX is clinging to a 2014 gain of just under 2% after losing nearly 3.9% on Tuesday.

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