Global X Gold Explorers ETF (GLDX) began trading November 4, 2010 becoming the first gold mining ETF focused on the exploration segment. “Gold exploration companies offer high risk-return characteristics with the potential to strike a gold mine, literally,” Global X Management’s CEO Bruno del Ama said in a press release (pdf).

GLDX is similar to a venture capital play on the gold mining industry. The stocks involved are early-stage, high-risk firms with potentially high rewards. The underlying Solactive Global Gold Explorers Total Return Index from Structured Solutions AG weights each component by free-float market capitalization. The methodology caps individual stocks at 4.75% and also caps the cumulative weighting of less-liquid stocks at 10%.

Top holdings include Novagold Resources Inc (NG) 6.0%, Gabriel Resources Ltd (GBRRF.PK) 5.3%, European Goldfields Ltd (EGFDF.PK) 5.2%, Fronteer Gold Inc (FRG) 5.0%, and Rainy River Resources Ltd (RRFFF.PK) 4.9% (complete list of 30 holdings).

Country weightings are heavily skewed toward Canada and appear to include only English-speaking countries: Canada comes in at 84.9%, Australia 9.8%, United States 3.5%, and Hong Kong 1.8%. (The last time I was in Hong Kong, English was the “official” language, but that was before 1999.)

GLDX has an expense ratio of 0.65%. Additional information is located in the fund summary and fact sheet (pdf).