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EPA Issues ROD to Alcoa

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Aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (AA) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (:USEPA) has issued a Record of Decision (:ROD) relating to the remediation of the Grasse River. This is in sync with the Proposed Remedial Action Plan issued in Oct 2012.

Alcoa, USEPA, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (:DEC) and other parties have been looking for various remedial measures to address the problem of high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish in the lower Grasse River for more than 15 years. With the receipt of the ROD, Alcoa will have to dredge contaminated sediments in a 7.2 mile stretch of river.

Alcoa has already accrued around $243 million, which is expected to be incurred for the remediation. Alcoa believes that the remedy will be safe for both human health and also the environment.

Alcoa is now ready to move into the next phase of modernizing its Massena, N.Y. operations. The next step of modernization will include on site work and support projects for the construction of a new pot line at the location’s Massena East plant. By upgrading the operations, Alcoa will be able to cut down its costs and move down the aluminum cost curve. Alcoa plans to invest $52 million toward modernization including $10 million for economic development.

Alcoa is the among the world leader with respect to production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina.

Last month, Alcoa was recognized by the Fortune magazine as the “most admired” metals company in the world for the second time in a row. The most admired list of Fortune is based on the surveys conducted by executives, directors and analysts who rate companies in their own industry. Out of the nine parameters that are required for the recognition, Alcoa topped in seven of them.

Alcoa currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the mining industry with favorable Zacks Rank are Atlatsa Resources Corporation (ATL), Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (SAND) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AGPPY). All of them hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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