The best gold mining ETFs

How do I invest in gold miners?

Investing in gold mining companies is a risky business. The performance of gold mines is highly dependent on the gold price and often reflected disproportionately. However, the gold price is not the only factor that drives the success of gold mining stocks. Production costs are just one further factor which influence the profit of gold miners.

There are several indices available to invest with ETFs in gold mining companies. Besides the size of the companies especially the share of revenues from gold mining is different from index to index. This Investment Guide will help you navigate between the peculiarities of gold mining indices that vary substantially in their methodologies and ETFs that track them. It will allow you to find the most suitable ETFs for you by ranking them according to your preferences.

0.53% p.a. - 0.65% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of gold mining ETFs
on gold mining, which is tracked by ETFs
on gold mining
The best indices for gold mining ETFs

The best gold mining ETF by 1-year fund return as of 30/09/17

All gold mining ETFs ranked by fund return

 

The largest gold mining ETF by fund size in GBP

All gold mining ETFs ranked by fund size

 

The cheapest gold mining ETF by total expense ratio

All gold mining ETFs ranked by total expense ratio

 
 

Gold mining indices compared

Methodologies of the most important gold mining indices

DAXglobal© Gold Miners MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners NYSE Arca Gold BUGS
Number of ETFs 1 ETF 1 ETF 0 ETFs
Number of constituents 33 48 17
Selection criteria min. 50% of revenues with gold mining min. 50% of revenues with gold and silver mining min. 50% of revenues with gold mining
Market cap min. 500 m USD min. 150 m USD min. 75 m USD
Ø Trading volume min. 2 m USD/day (last 3 months) min. 1 m USD/day (last 3 months)
250,000 shares/month (last 6 months)
min. 500,000 shares/month (last 6 months)
Index weighting Liquidity Modified market cap Modified equal-weight
Index rebalancing semi-annually quarterly quarterly
Constituents cap 15% 8% 15%
Top 3 countries 43.4% Canada
14.5% USA
13.8% UK
72.4% Canada
13.3% Australia
4.1% Cayman Islands
58.0% Canada
22.4% USA
14.9% South Africa
 
NYSE Arca Gold Miners S&P Commodity Producers Gold Solactive Global Pure Gold Miners
Number of ETFs 1 ETF 1 ETF 0 ETFs
Number of constituents 52 51 21
Selection criteria min. 50% of revenue with gold and silver mining Gold mining companies according to GICS min. 90% of revenue with gold mining
Market cap min. 750 m USD (new)
min. 450 m USD (remain)
min. 500 m USD (new)
min. 250 m USD (remain)
min. 1 bn USD
Ø Trading volume min. 1 m USD/day (last 3 months)
50,000 shares/day (last 3 months)
min. 1 m USD/day (last 3 months) min. 2 m USD/day (last 3 months)
75,000 shares/day (last 6 months)
Index weighing Liquidity Market cap Market cap
Index rebalancing quarterly semi-annually annually
Constituents cap 20% - 4.75% bzw. 10%
Top 3 countries 54.3% Canada
17.1% USA
12.7% Australia
58.4% Canada
14.5% USA
11.4% Australia
51.0% Canada
14.0% South Africa
10.8% Jersey

Source: justETF Research; As of 31/01/2017

 

Performance of gold mining indices in comparison

 

DAXglobal© Gold Miners Index

The DAXglobal® Gold Miners Index represents companies of the gold mining industry that generate at least 50 percent of their revenues with gold mining. The selection of the index constituents is based on market capitalisation and average daily value traded.

 

Methodology of the DAXglobal® Gold Miners Methodology

  • Companies, which generate at least 50% of their revenue with gold mining
  • Selection based on market capitalisation
  • Market capitalisation at least 500 million USD
  • Average daily trading volume (over the last 3 months) must be larger than 2 million USD
  • Weighted by liquidity
  • Each single stock's weighting is capped at 15%
  • Companies ranked by free float market capitalisation
 

MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners Index

The MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners Index tracks the performance of the most liquid junior companies in the global gold and silver mining industry. The pure-play index contains only companies that invest primarily in gold or silver, or generate at least 50% of their revenues from gold or silver mining or own properties that have the potential to generate at least 50% of their revenues from gold or silver mining when developed.

 

Methodology of the MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners Factsheet Methodology

  • Companies, which generate at least 50% of their revenue from gold or silver mining
  • Full market capitalisation of at least 150 million USD
  • Three months average daily trading volume of at least 1 million USD
  • At least 250,000 shares traded per month over the last six months
  • Weighted by modified market capitalisation
  • Each single stock's weighting is capped at 8%
 

NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index

The NYSE Arca Gold BUGS (Basket of Unhedged Gold Stocks) Index tracks unhedged gold mining companies. The constituents listed within this index are common stocks of selected companies involved in the mining for gold ore, not hedged beyond 1.5 years of production, and listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSE MKT, or another major U.S. exchange.

 

Methodology of the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Methodology

  • Companies, that don’t hedge their production beyond 1.5 years
  • Companies have to gain most of their revenue through gold mining
  • Market capitalisation must be greater than 75 million USD
  • Monthly volume must be greater than 500,000 shares for each of the last six months
  • Current last traded price must be greater than 3.00 USD
  • Equal-weighting, except for the two largest constituents with a weighting of 15% and the third largest with a weighting of 10% (ranked by market capitalisation)
 

NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index

The NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index generally includes common stocks, ADRs, or GDRs of selected companies involved in mining for gold and silver ore and are listed for trading and electronically quoted on a major stock market that is accessible by foreign investors.

 

Methodology of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Methodology

  • Companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from gold or silver mining and related activities
  • Market capitalisation must be greater than 750 million USD for a stock to be eligible, and greater than 500 million USD to remain in the index
  • Average daily volume of at least 50,000 shares over the past three months
  • Average daily value traded of at least 1 million USD over the past three months
  • Each single stock's weighting is capped at 20%
  • Constituents are weighted by modified market capitalisation
 

S&P Commodity Producers Gold Index

The S&P Commodity Producers Gold Index tracks the largest publicly-traded companies involved in the exploration and production of gold and related products around the world.

 

Methodology of the S&P Commodity Producers Gold Factsheet Methodology

  • Market capitalisation must be greater than 500 million USD
  • Existing index constituents must maintain a minimum float adjusted market capitalisation of 250 million USD
  • Stocks must have a three month average daily value traded above 1 million USD
  • Stocks must be trading on a developed market exchange as defined by S&P Dow Jones indices
  • Constituents are weighted by float adjusted market capitalisation
 

Solactive Global Pure Gold Miners Index

The Solactive Global Pure Gold Miners Index tracks the price movements in shares of companies which are active in the gold mining industry. At least 90% of the companies' revenues need to be generated by gold mining activities. A maximum of 30 components are included and weighted by free float market capitalisation.

 

Methodology of the Solactive Global Pure Gold Miners Factsheet Methodology

  • Companies, that gain at least 90% of their revenue by gold mines
  • Average monthly trading volume of at least 75,000 shares in each of the last six months
  • Average daily trading volume in the last three months of at least 2,000,000 USD
  • Free float market capitalisation of at least 1 billion USD
  • Each single stock's weighting is capped at 4.75%
  • Constituents are weighted by free float market capitalisation
  • The index may contain constituents, that don’t meet the liquidity criterion, but the accumulated weight of these constituents is capped at 10%
 
 

Gold mining ETFs in comparison

The most important factors at a glance

When choosing a gold mining ETF one should consider several other factors in addition to the methodology of the underlying index and performance of an ETF. For better comparison, you will find a list of all gold mining ETFs with details on size, cost, age, income, domicile and replication method ranked by fund size.

Compare all gold mining ETFs in detail
Compare all gold mining ETFs in a chart

Provider
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Gold Producers UCITS ETFIE00B6R52036 431 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
ETFS DAXglobal Gold Mining GO UCITS ETFIE00B3CNHG25 154 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners UCITS ETFIE00BQQP9F84 91 0.53% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners UCITS ETFIE00BQQP9G91 53 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication

Source: justETF.com; As of 19/10/17

 

Return comparison of all gold mining ETFs

The table shows the returns of all gold mining ETFs in comparison. All return figures are including dividends as of month end. Besides the return the reference date on which you conduct the comparison is important. In order to find the best ETFs, you can also perform a chart comparison.

ETF   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
iShares Gold Producers UCITS ETF -8.63% 1.27% -6.25% -14.29% 36.62%
ETFS DAXglobal Gold Mining GO UCITS ETF -9.10% 0.06% -6.90% -14.96% 45.34%
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners UCITS ETF -8.46% 1.08% -5.51% -15.60% -
VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners UCITS ETF -7.56% -2.65% -13.77% -24.20% -
ETF   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
ETFS DAXglobal Gold Mining GO UCITS ETF 0.89% 79.72% -12.51% 1.81% -53.55%
iShares Gold Producers UCITS ETF 0.70% 85.23% -17.87% -7.66% -53.26%
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners UCITS ETF 0.68% 84.69% - - -
VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners UCITS ETF -4.87% 109.23% - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/17; Calculations in GBP including dividends