Despite a stable global macroeconomic climate and considerable demand pressures from metals-intensive industries, the European mining sector faces a number of critical challenges. Global economic growth has brought with it a greater dependence on precious and speciality metals around which there are serious questions about the sustainability of current supplies. In the opening session, we will hear contributions from senior government officials from Bulgaria on how the Balkans are facing up to these global issues, and from European thought-leaders on how the European raw materials sector is increasingly embracing innovation and a focus on sustainability to ensure its competitive advantage. The session will also give an overview of the pricing trends and identify where bottlenecks in the battery metals industry are likely to be and how these could be overcome.