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NEW YORK (Kitco News) - After spending years in a bear market, gold miners seem to be turning the corner; but, one metals analyst says it may be time for them to start rethinking strategy.

Gold miners need to start focusing on generating revenues again, suggested Bloomberg Intelligence's head of metals and mining research Ken Hoffman.

'I think what the gold miners need to realize is that in the past, the miners just would focus on the cost and ignore price, but this year is different,' he told Kitco News Thursday.

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Gold stocks have seen quite an upswing this year on the back of gold's rally, with leading mining stock exchange-traded funds like the GDX or GDXJ up 92% and 112% year-to-date, respectively. After seeing its best first quarter in over a decade, gold was last trading near three-week highs. August Comex gold futures settled Thursdays at $1,272.70 an ounce up $10.40 on the day.

Hoffman explained that with investors seeking yields in a negative interest rate environment, mining executives need to focus on generating cash flows to attract more investment in the space. Investors seeking exposure to the metals are likely to opt for more liquid investments, such as ETFs, and this is making it harder for miners to get funding.

'If you're looking to move in're going to go to an ETF,' he explained.

'It's taken the money that would have gone into gold equities and put it into the ETFs and what investors are telling us is that what gold miners really need to focus on is cash flows.'

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.