Lithium is a soft silvery-white metal and chemical element. It is the lightest and most energy dense metal and is considered a strategic mineral and is included in the EU 2020 Critical Raw Materials List and the US List of Critical Minerals 2018.

Lithium is in rechargeable batteries for EVs and consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and laptops. Lithium is also commonly used in non-rechargeable batteries for a range of applications including pacemakers, toys and clocks. Lithium metal is also used to make metal alloys, most commonly with aluminium or magnesium, to improve strength and/or reduce weight. Magnesium-Lithium alloy can be used for armour plating and Aluminium-Lithium alloys are used in a number of manufacturing applications such as aircraft, bicycles, high-speed trains and luxury cars.

The key driver behind demand for lithium in recent years is the increasing adoption of EVs. EV penetration is forecast to grow from 3% to approximately 30% [worldwide] by 2030 as major vehicle manufacturers are set to introduce hundreds of new EV models within the next four years. Lithium is an essential  component of batteries for EVs and current levels of production cannot support projected demand growth.