Global organization formed to help create sustainable lithium supply chain

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that the growth in EVs could see lithium demand increase by over 40 times by the year 2030, as a result the International Lithium Association (ILiA) has been formed to provide a central, global voice for the lithium producers, and to promote a sustainable and a responsible future for the lithium value chain.

Of the many applications for lithium batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage solutions (ESS) stand out as by far the largest and fastest growing sectors, driven by the world-wide shift from traditional fossil-fuelled vehicles towards cleaner forms of transport and energy use.

The five founding members of ILiA are SQM, Ganfeng Lithium Co, AMG Brazil, Orocobre Ltd, and Pilbara Minerals, who between them account for well over half of global lithium production. ILiA’s primary goals are to become a trusted source of information about lithium, to promote a greater awareness of ILiA members’ ESG credentials, and to efficiently and effectively address key challenges faced by the industry.

The new organization will have its HQ and secretariat in London, UK, though its first Chairman – lithium expert Anand Sheth of Titan International – will continue to be based in Perth, Australia. ILiA was co-founded by Anand Sheth and Roland Chavasse, a highly experienced industry association manager, with the support of leading lithium producers to be a not-for-profit professional body run by and for its members.

In his role as Founding Chairman, Sheth, said: “We have created a global lithium professional association for two strong reasons: there wasn’t one before and lithium is key to the current global energy revolution as the world transitions towards ‘net zero carbon’ which will bring unprecedented growth to the market but also intense attention from media, government regulators, civil society, end-user groups and other external stakeholders. The Association will include Members from the entire supply chain: from Resource to the end-users”.

Chavasse, who will be the Secretary General of ILiA, explained that: “London was chosen to host ILiA as its time-zone bridges between the two key producing regions, Australia and South America, as well as being home to world-class professional services and close to European regulators”. ILiA’s legal counsel is London-based Mishcon de Reya, a firm with long experience of both associations and of antitrust and compliance law.

The element lithium (Li) is the lightest of all the metallic atoms and is the 33rd most common element on Earth. Natural lithium minerals are relatively abundant and found in many countries. Currently there are around eight large industrial operators in Australia, Chile, Argentina, China, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Portugal that produce lithium raw materials at significant scale, although this number is set to rise as lithium production increases to meet future demand.

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