Innovative intensity in the mining industry: Evidence from patent families

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A key channel for innovation in the mining industry is the acquisition of technologies integrated into the equipment, services and inputs of suppliers. This article looks at several aspects of the innovation process in the mining industry on the basis of over 200,000 patented inventions filed by businesses, individuals, research centers, and educational institutions during 1970–2015. The main theme of study is the influence of mineral prices, mineral rents, and overall innovative performance on sectorial and technological innovation, timing and intensity of inventions in mining technologies. The evidence shows that long-term mineral prices and overall innovative performance are key drivers. Exposure to mineral rents may sometimes delay the adjustment of certain mining technologies to new market conditions, suggesting that countries specialized in mining may innovate more slowly. Furthermore, the evidence shows that the average inventive productivity of patent applicants is positively associated with the quality of inventions, the length of time applicants have patented (i.e., experience), and long-term mineral prices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102805
JournalResources Policy
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Foreign-oriented families
  • Panel-regression models
  • Patent families
  • Patenting spells


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