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U.S. Mint to Use More Zinc, Less Copper and Nickel

February 11, 2008 at 18:26 by Mario

The U.S. Mint plans to use less copper and nickel, but more zinc, as it ramps up penny production and cuts back on nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins, an agency spokeswoman said on Friday.
The Mint’s zinc needs will increase by approximately 2.2 million pounds (1 million kg), while its copper use will decline by 6.6 million pounds (3 million kg) and its nickel use will fall by 660,000 pounds (300,000 kg) in the 2009 budget year, which begins this Oct. 1, the spokeswoman told Reuters.
The agency said its metal needs reflect a shift in its product mix of coins based on demand, not higher metal prices.
The Mint plans to make more pennies due to new commemorative designs of President Abraham Lincoln on the coin. The penny is made from 97.5 percent zinc and the rest is a copper coating.
There will be less production of nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins that are made from copper and nickel.
The Mint is expected to produce 15.377 billion coins in the 2009 budget year, down from 15.425 billion coins in the current spending year.

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