It has been obvious in a year in which the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) and rival gold miners funds are among the best-performing exchange traded funds that this group is easily outpacing broader market benchmarks.

After all, GDX and GDXJ, the two largest gold miners ETFs, have each more than doubled on a year-to-date basis. However, a deeper technical look at a widely followed gold miners index reveals that index is breaking out in significant fashion against the S&P 500 on a relative strength basis, indicating miners can extend their gains.

Additionally, there is at least one positive fundamental catalyst that potentially bodes well for gold miners ETFs going forward: Peak production of gold has likely come and gone, perhaps indicating that supply will dwindle, thereby boosting bullion prices.

SEE MORE: 4 Gold ETFs to Diversify a Multi-Functional Portfolio

While gold miner stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds look cheap after underperforming broader equities for years, some caution investors against betting too heavily on this area of the market as the sector rallies on strengthening bullion prices.

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Comparing the Gold Bugs Index (HUI) against the S&P 500 “provides us with a broad view of the how the Gold miners have performed versus large-cap equities over the past two decades. As you can see below, the Gold Bugs Index outperformed the broader equities market from 2001 to 2011. But that outperformance gave way to a period of significant underperformance,” according to See It Market.

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