Restoration of the degraded ecosystem is a global priority for achieving sustainable development. Although increasing ecosystem service is an important goal of ecological restoration, it is rarely used to inform mine reclamation. This study proposed a reclamation strategy that incorporated land suitability analysis and ecosystem service evaluation for a mining site in Liaoning Province, China. We assessed the land suitability for three reclamation alternatives and identified suitable land uses for each location by comparing their suitability levels. For areas that were suitable for multiple land uses with the same suitability level, the future land uses cannot be identified by land suitability analysis alone, and we employed ecosystem services evaluation to determine the optimal reclamation strategy. The results showed that forest could be restored throughout the entire mining site, agricultural land were most suitable in the western and southern parts, and developed land were in northern parts that were closer to roads and city centers. Our study showed that a large mining site can be reclaimed to different land uses and provided a practical framework for integrating ecosystem services into mine reclamation.

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Published in Sustainability, v. 9, issue 6, 890, p. 1-19.

© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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