Factors governing the decision to rehabilitate pit lakes to reduce or remove impact, or to go further and develop them into a tangible environmental or social benefit, fall largely into either regulatory requirements or development incentives. Because of the non-scientific nature of much of end use development processes, reports on most pit lake developments for social or environmental beneficial end uses occur predominantly within the non-scientific literature in a case study format (Walls, 2004). Consequently, examples of pit lakes relinquished as public amenity are more inaccessible than for other forums of pit lake research. Reports on the processes which companies have followed to achieve pit lake relinquishment as a public amenity are even rarer although they are likely to be the same as those used in general rehabilitation planning.
In order to ascertain the effect of these influences on end use development, a literature review was undertaken and email enquiries requesting opinion and experience were made to other researchers, stakeholder groups, regulatory andindustry representatives. Because of commercial sensitivity, details of actual companies or operations have not been given. In this chapter we outline incentives and regulatory requirements, describe recommended planning and implementation procedures for various end use options, discuss opportunities and challenges presented by developing post-closure beneficial uses, and provide case studies of pit lakes developed for social, economic, and environmental end uses.
McCullough, C. D., Hunt, D., & Evans, L. H. (2009). Sustainable development of open pit mines: creating beneficial end uses for pit lakes. In D. Castendyk & T. Eary (Eds.), Mine pit lakes: Characteristics, predictive modeling, and sustainability (pp. 249-268). Colorado, USA: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).