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Challenges and solutions

In addressing challenges relating to sustainable management of saline waste (in liquid, slurry and solid forms), Pact Renewables follows a fundamental approach based on saline waste minimisation, through integrated recovery of water and mineral products for footprint reduction via cost and carbon offsets. 

Our solutions for these challenges are discussed below:

Sustainable management of hypersaline groundwater in mining

We offer the following solutions to the above challenge based on a proven technology platform, developed by a technologist with a deep scientific knowledge relating to the hydrogeology of saline drainage basins and decades of engagement with mineral exploration, mining, and mineral processing companies and those in the business of recovery and sale of minerals/metals from saline effluents, including:    

  • Minimising or eliminating the use of evaporation ponds associated with tailings storage facilities by various combinations of saline water treatment methods (including water recovery using membrane desalination) and selective/sequential extraction of metals, minerals, and critical minerals from brines generated in desalination processes. 

  • Production of water from hypersaline groundwater for mining operations such as leaching, ore processing, and top-up water. 

  • Controlled reduction of salt build-up in solar evaporation ponds to increase their holding capacity for managing seasonal fluctuations in liquor inventories, thus avoiding the need for additional evaporation ponds or raising their walls.

  • Production of high-value commercial grade potassium and magnesium mineral products from inorganic saline waters and mining wastewaters. Our potash and magnesia production technologies have been piloted at large-scale and licensed, and their premium product quality certified independently.


We also provide expert advice on the design and implementation of mine site saline water cycle management strategies and life cycle planning for new or proposed mining operations. Our advice may include consideration of innovative strategies for removing the need for discharge of mining associated water to salt pans, evaporation ponds or aquifer discharge, as well as achieving zero waste discharge (ZWD) through encapsulation of intractable mining effluents and residual bitterns for safe monofilling.

Sustainable management of reject brine from seawater desalination plants
n relation to this challenge, we commenced offering our Salpro technology to the market from the late 1990’s, and from the outset we have promoted our technology as the best-fit ZLD (Zero Liquid Discharge) solution for eliminating the need for sea discharge of reject brines from seawater desalination plants. Our technology has undergone substantial improvements and continues to offer the most practical and sustainable solution for integrated recovery of minerals and additional water, since its first version was piloted at large scale in Australia and licensed to a Japanese corporation in 2001. Additionally, the technology has been subjected to many independent evaluations, notably a 2006 review by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, identifying Salpro as the highest ranking brine solution at the time in terms of technical and operational feasibility, environmental acceptability, and economic grounds.

It is against this backdrop, together with our ongoing commitment to technology optimisation, that we continue offering our Salpro technology as a highly innovative and commercially attractive driver of ZLD brine solutions for sustainable management of reject brine from seawater desalination facilities. Our solutions are backed up by our expertise in the field, our deep knowledge of product quality requirements and their markets, and are suitable
 for companies and governments now actively seeking the governance of their saline waste. The solutions we offer include:


  • Various configurations of brine treatment systems, all providing ZLD outcomes based on selective/sequential recovery of commercial grade metals and minerals, in tandem with additional water recovery.

  • Technology-based ZLD solutions that are backed up by robust and verified process flowsheets and product qualities that have been extensively evaluated by product off take companies.

  • Multiple integrated techno-economic and product life cycle assessments invariably point to our technology-based solutions as one of the most sustainable and economically attractive ZLD solutions for the management of reject brine from seawater desalination plants, through the integrated recovery of commercial-grade products (including metals, minerals, and water).

  • Mineral products from Salpro treatment of reject brines from seawater desalination plants can be used on site for pre-treatment of seawater fed to desalination plants, as well as for the production of minerals, including magnesium for solid storage of hydrogen energy and mineral-based composites for diverse downstream applications.

From our previous experience, the application of our ZLD solutions for sustainable management of reject brines from seawater desalination plants are highly welcomed by Communities.


Oil/gas exploration and production

Our technology-based solutions to the above challenge, backed up by our proven skillsets, provide effective and practical tools for use by the petroleum industry and regulators to enable meaningful and timely technological and operational advancement in produced water (PW) management. We believe that our solutions will facilitate the deployment of viable methods for beneficial reuse of PW, on site or outside the oilfields, through integrated recovery of water and commercial grade mineral/metal products from PW or the reject from desalination processes. Our solutions are aimed at achieving the ultimate objective of reducing reliance on saline water discharge (SWD) wells. Our solutions may include one or more of the followings:

  • Detailed characterisation of PW quality, particularly the highly concentrated PW and reject brines from thermal desalination processing which are commonly exposed to diagenetic changes due to incongruent crystallisation-dissolution-recrystallisation events.  

  • Pre-treatment of PW to make it amenable to desalination in thermal and membrane processes for increasing water recovery as well as producing a reject with appropriate makeup for cost effective recovery of commercial grade mineral/metal products using Salpro/Synpotash technologies.

  • De-risking PW desalination processes and systems through the recovery of commercial grade products from their rejects for offsetting the treatment costs  through disposal by sale, thus avoiding potential risks associated with failure of consistent injection in SWD wells.

  • Pre-treatment of highly saline PW by using Salpro (through selective removal of certain dissolved elements) to avoid potential risks associated with failure of consistent injection in SWD wells.

  • Reducing the overall footprint of oil/gas exploration and production and midstream water service companies through the recovery and commercial sale of valuable products (metals/minerals/water) across their value chain while promoting the longevity of global oil and gas exploration and production.

  • Management of gaseous (methane) emissions and brine cleanup relating to plugging of abandoned oil/gas fields.

  • Solutions based on processes and products that have been independently evaluated and highly ranked against other comparable solutions. 

  • Solutions that can potentially expedite commercial application to PW management, as they are based on robust, sustainable, yet flexible technologies developed by a geologist turned technologist with a long track record in fundamental and applied research, hands-on experience with technology piloting, and process/product demonstration and deep engagement with industry clients and product off takers.

Lithium recovery from brines and ores                                                                 

We offer solutions to the saline waste challenges faced by the lithium production industry, that are sustainable and compatible with the principles of the circular economy, and involve one or more of the following options:

  • Production of commercial-grade magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and boron mineral products in tandem with the recovery of lithium ion from brine resources originating from salt lakes, saline aquifers, geothermal bores/fields, and oil/gas wells.

  • Additional water production as part of our mineral production circuits, or through improved water recovery in desalination processes associated with brine treatment or lithium ore processing operations.

  • Use of our Salpro and Synpotash technologies (that have been proven at large pilot and commercial scales and licensed) to improve operations and generate revenue through the recovery of commercial-grade minerals. This particularly applies to current production operations where the return of spent brine to solar evaporation ponds or lakes in conventional or DLE (Direct Lithium Extraction) type operations is the only management option. 

  • Polishing brines to enhance evaporation rates of ponds in DLE type operations, which can be optionally combined with an encapsulation step for safe land disposal of residual brines and bitterns, thus providing a ZWD (zero waste discharge) outcome.

  • Pre-treatment of lithium brines in Salpro and Synpotash technologies for selective removal of magnesium, calcium, and potassium ions, to improve the performance of complex ion-exchange systems proposed or used in DLE type operations, that often require large-scale brine concentration facilities for selective separation of lithium from other divalent ions with similar solubilities. The pre-treatment/polishing of lithium-containing brines through selective/sequential removal of divalent metals also reduces the need for reinjection of the spent brine, that are often contaminated with spent ion-exchange chemicals.

  • Application of our brine pre-treatment and/or spent brine solutions can significantly improve the performance (and hence the economics) of lithium carbonate and hydroxide production from solar brine fields as well as in DLE type operations. This is based on a consideration of multiple opportunities for cost reduction, through recovery, reuse, and sale of commercial grade by-products, as well as the potential for application of magnesium hydroxide (recovered in our Salpro technology) for effective adjustment of the pH of large volumes of brine introduced to ion-exchange and solvent extraction units.

Management of intractable saline waste

Using our proprietary formulated mineral-based composite (as a binding medium), produced on-site from widely available industrial minerals, our Climedec technology can be beneficially applied to address challenges currently faced by industry and governments for safe landfilling of intractable saline waste and toxic heavy metals. Climedec uses conventional mixing equipment for solidification and stabilisation of hygroscopic intractable saline waste residues in our mineral-based composites, followed by aggregation or granulation of the stabilised material for safe disposal in purpose-built monofills with appropriate lining. Our Climedec based solutions, once applied directly to intractable saline waste residues, offer the following outcomes:

  • Solidification, stabilisation, and permanent fixation of the saline waste through chemical reactions with our mineral composite, and follow-up aggregation/granulation of stabilised material before land disposal, thus minimising risks associated with subsequent saline seepage or gaseous emissions from the site. Results of leaching trials have confirmed a high degree of chemical and physical stability for a wide variety of solid, liquid, and slurry intractable saline waste streams subjected to two years of controlled solid and aqueous leaching experiments.

  • A safe and cost-effective disposal technology for intractable saline waste, free of crystallisation, dewatering, and compaction steps involved in the micro-encapsulation techniques.

  • Fit-for-purpose solutions, applicable at scale and at multiple sites in conformance with regulatory requirements, whilst removing the need for costly centralised disposal facilities.

  • Ideal end-of-pipeline zero waste carbon footprint reduction solutions for mining/mineral processing, oil/gas, and PFAS treatment industries through permanent disposal of voluminous intractable saline residues.

  • Substantial value adding to carbon footprint reduction through rehabilitation of monofilled sites.

Management of solid residues from industries using thermal processes

Using our technology platform and proprietary application methods we offer integrated solutions for sustainable management of fine residue (known as fly ash or air pollution control residue/dust) generated in a number of industries using thermal processes. 


Such solid residuals often contain soluble salts and metal contaminants, and currently the most common treatment approach involves washing these solid residues with freshwater for removing soluble salts and metal content, allowing the beneficial use (through recycle, reuse) or safe and cost-effective disposal of the washed solids. This approach generates a new challenge of sustainably managing the generated washwater, which often is characterised by elevated concentrations of soluble salts and toxic metals.


Our solutions offer options for integrated recovery of one or more of freshwater, mineral products and carbon offsets and are applicable to energy generation industries (by coal combustion, waste-to-energy, and geothermal energy production methods), as well as municipal/industrial sewage waste incineration operations, and cement and lime production industries. These solutions are highly appropriate considering the increased global recognition of the need for reducing risks associated with solid and liquid waste streams containing certain salts and toxic elements (such as lead, cobalt, arsenic, cadmium, etc) on human health and the environment.  


Advantageously, our unique technology-based solutions for value generation from wash water of solids can be established and operated at the site of final disposal of washed solids as an end of pipeline operation.  

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