Alternatives to Constructing a New Denver Mint

LCD-76-458: Published: Dec 6, 1976. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 1976.

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The need for a new Denver Mint was reviewed following a request by the Bureau of the Mint for $65 million to construct a new mint on the basis that coin demand was increasing. Four different models were used to forecast future coin requirements.

Coin requirements for 1990 range from 17 to 50 billion coins, depending on the forecast model used. The most likely estimate of coin requirements for 1990 is about 41.5 billion coins. About 90 percent of that amount, or 37.6 billion coins, is pennies. In 1990, it will cost about 10.25 cents to add one cent into circulation because of projected increases in demand for copper cents, cent manufacturing and distribution costs, copper prices, and cent attrition rates. The Bureau's estimate of construction costs for a new Denver mint may be too high because: (1) space requirements appear overstated; (2) construction costs were based on Philadelphia Mint construction and include features not needed by the Denver Mint; and (3) escalation for inflation appears to be duplicated.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: Facility changes such as opening the San Francisco Assay Office to production of general circulation coinage, combining functions and renovating space to make more space available for coinmaking machines, and relying on commercial supplies for coinage metals are suggested as alternatives to the proposed expenditure for a new mint.

    Agency Affected:


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