Project Briefs:

Rare Earth Mine Recycles Brine Stream for Acid and Caustic Production with SAMCO’s Multi-Stage Brine Conditioning System

Project Overview

When a rare earth mine in North America sought to improve efficiency by recovering brine for acid and caustic production, it turned to SAMCO for a brine conditioning circuit to handle its complex blend of contaminants.


Remove heavy metals and hardness from complex hydrometallurgical brine stream for downstream electrochemical production operations.

  • Reduce calcium to 20 ppb
  • Reduce magnesium to 20 ppb

Scope of Service

SAMCO delivered a turnkey brine conditioning system with comprehensive process design and engineering, system fabrication, controls integration, commissioning, startup training and support.


  • Highly complex contaminant stream
  • Stringent purity requirements for acid and caustic production
  • Highly complex contaminant stream


SAMCO delivered a high capacity brine recovery system consisting of four integrated ion exchange (IX) circuits. To efficiently manage the brine stream’s complex contaminants, the solution utilized paired IX columns in lead-lag configuration for each of four brine processing stages, including primary softening, polishing softening, and heavy metals removal, along with a single IX column for TOC removal. SAMCO performed construction and installation of the prepackaged system to deliver a fast-track turnkey solution. To minimize operational demands, the system included programmable logic controllers (PLC) with remote telemetry capabilities, enabling automated system monitoring.


Project deliverables and equipment included:

  • 600 GPM IX pressure vessels
  • Pipe rack assemblies
  • Effluent and influent pumps
  • PLC controls
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