Lithium is widely used in many fields such as new energy vehicles, electronic products, energy storage, and is a key strategic resource in the transformation of energy structure. Lithium extraction from salt lake has attracted worldwide attention because of its rich resources and low cost. In this paper, the main research progress of lithium extraction from brine is reviewed from the aspects of the distribution, endowment characteristics, extraction methods and development direction of lithium resources in salt lakes. The basic principle, operation and development of precipitation, solvent extraction, adsorption, membrane separation and electrochemical lithium extraction were introduced. Finally, the research direction and prospect of lithium extraction from salt lakes were prospected, in order to provide reference for lithium extraction from salt lakes.