I'll start first with the GDX, an ETF designed to "replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index." The Arca Gold Miners Index, affectionately known as the HUI (pronounced HOO-EE), is made up of the following components shown to the right. It's not the broadest index with only 16 components, but it's a closely followed index and certainly indicative of the pulse of the market.
You're looking at a monthly chart going back to GDX's inception in 2006. With slightly less than 10 years of data, you can at least see the rise and fall of the last bull and (current) bear market. I've highlighted major long-term support in the $16-$20 neighborhood which marks the lows from the 2008 bottom as well as the lows from late 2014/early 2015.
Keep in mind that everything on this chart moves SLOWLY. It takes a long time for trend changes to manifest on this chart so when you finally do start to see them, odds are it's meaningful and worth watching. Given the positive MACD crossover coupled with the bounce off of long-term support, I'm making the assertion that now is the time to get long.
Just to reinforce my thesis, I'm going to show a couple more long-term PM miner charts which reflect similar patterns.
To wrap this up, if you're a long-term investor (5+ year investment horizon), then you have to at least give the mining complex a good look. Technicals and fundamentals are lining up in a way which doesn't happen but once a decade. Because the miners are all sitting right on long-term support, if you buy now and establish stop loss orders slightly below the areas of long-term support, then your potential losses are minimal while potential returns are great.