International Lithium Association reports from the OECD Forum and support for the industry’s continued commitment to responsible lithium supply.

The lithium industry is facing a decade of double-digit growth, leading to many new market entrants and increased visibility for a wide variety of stakeholders, including regulators. Although the lithium industry contains many progressive publicly registered companies (several have already joined the strict IRMA standard), no industry can rest on its laurels. ILiA is committed to helping the industry demonstrate its commitment to delivering a high quality, sustainable and responsible source of lithium now and in the future.

The International Lithium Association (ILiA), a global non-profit industrial organization, is working closely with the leading responsible mineral consulting firm, TDi Sustainability, to develop a conversation about environmental, social and management (ESG) and responsible mineral standards in and around lithium industry.

Raising awareness of the standards of the OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains on 3 Mayrd

ILIA chairs the first formal partnership session, focused on responsible lithium mining, at the OECD’s annual Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, the largest gathering of responsible mineral professionals of all commodities. The ILIA event was a public, open discussion on this increasingly important topic and had almost 200 attendees.

Delegates came from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, finance, market analysts and civil society.

Panelists included three leading lithium manufacturers and a major electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer. Together, they provided examples from industry-leading lithium manufacturers at critical stages of the lithium value chain to help create a picture and understanding of where and how materials are manufactured and how the supply chain connects.

Among the panelists were Stefan Debruyne, director of foreign affairs at SQMwho discussed responsible lithium extraction; Ellen Lenny-Passagno, Global Vice President for Government and Community Affairs Albemarlewho reviewed processing practices; and Ken Brinsden, Ph.D. and CEO of Pilbara minerals, which examines sustainable innovation and investment in hard rock mining (subdued). To help define the requirements for downstream orders, Franziska Killiches, from Volkswagen’s supply strategy team, outlined the perspective of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

The discussion was moderated by Dr. Asheton Carter, CEO of TDi Sustainability, who is also working with ILiA members on a series of seminars that examine ESG issues and standards in the lithium industry in more detail.

responsible lithium
© TDi Sustainability

Critical problems for a critical mineral

Many governments list lithium as a “critical” resource that is essential to achieving their zero carbon targets. Part of the panel’s presentation highlighted the unique opportunity that modern battery production offers to create a more sustainable society, as part of a circular economy in which minerals can be recycled endlessly.

ILIA founding chairman Anand Sheth, who chaired the ILIA OECD event, said The innovation platform: “We welcome global awareness of the ESG aspects of lithium and the opportunity to spark best practice talks,” adding: “It is crucial that the industry grows responsibly to support the expanding EV market and the energy capture revolution while the world is moving towards the zero carbon target. “

What is responsible lithium?

This is a multifaceted issue, and as we move forward in the lithium century, ILIA seeks to better understand the views of stakeholders.

Such views may not always be fully compatible; However, as Mr Sheth commented: “One thing that everyone can agree on is that lithium raw materials are increasingly important to society for decarbonising the transport and energy industries and must continue to be produced responsibly. “

Discover what responsible lithium looks like for stakeholders

It is important that all stakeholders get to know each other’s views and interpretations in order to initiate a discussion on the nature of the minerals responsible. ILIA began its journey, but the success relied on open dialogue and discussion as we moved through the evolving lithium landscape.

Future ILIA seminars are planned to focus on risk identification and mitigation and more focused analysis of ESG issues in the lithium industry.

To join the conversation or for more information about ILIA’s work and membership, please visit our website or send us an email using the address below.

© 2017 Wingedbull / Shutterstock

responsible lithium
© Shutterstock

International Lithium Association (ILiA)
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Please note that this article will also appear in the tenth edition of ours quarterly publication.

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ILiA: Mapping responsible mineral supply chains in the lithium industry

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