The difficulty with investing in mining and gold company stocks is that they are subject to the same market forces as any other stocks, although they may whether those forces better in a crisis than other stocks do because they are related to gold, which has always been a "flight to safety" move for investors.
Some investors buy physical gold, although you don't have to take actual delivery of the metal itself. You can leave it with the broker-dealer you buy it from, much the way you don't have your broker send you stock certificates. That way, if you leave the gold with the broker-dealer (someone reputable, of course, like APMEX or Monex) then you can sell it quickly if you choose, just like when you want to sell a stock.
If you take delivery of a security (share certificate) or commodity (gold, oil, etc.) then before you can sell it, you have to return it to broker, which takes time.
The decision has much to do with your investing objectives and willingness to absorb risk. The reason people choose mutual funds is because their money gets spread around a basket of stocks, so if one company in the fund takes a hit it doesn't wipe out their entire investment. If you buy gold, you run the risk (low, in my opinion) of seeing big losses if, for some reason, gold prices plummet. You're "all in" on one thing, which can be risky.
It's a judgment call on your part, but that's my two cents' worth.