Energy consumption of Chinaâ€™s mining industry is larger than the total energy consumption of some European countries, such as the Netherlands and Spain. It is therefore significant to study the driving forces of the mining industryâ€™s energy and carbon performance. This paper adopts the non-radial directional distance function to calculate the energy and carbon performance of Chinaâ€™s mining industry and uses metafrontier Malmquist index to disassemble the results into three components to analyze the driving forces of the mining industryâ€™s energy and carbon performance improvement during the 11th and 12th five-year plan. We found that the main forces that drive the energy and carbon performance improvement are catch-up effects and technical gap ratio change, but the innovation effect does not have obvious contribution to the improvement. As for policymakers, the government should support improving the technology progress of the mining sector, reduce surplus capacity, and open up the mineral market.
Keywords Chinaâ€™s mining industry; energy and carbon performance; efficiency change; best practice gap change; technological leadership