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Aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (AA - Analyst Report) announced that it is ready to move into the next phase of modernizing its Massena, N.Y. operations. The project is awaiting the Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the cleaning of the Grasse River as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Once Alcoa receives the ROD, the next step of modernization will include on site work and support projects in preparation for the construction of a new potline 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 has entered into a contract with New York Power Authority (NYPA), under which, NYPA will supply power to the operations in Massena for a term of 30 years. Alcoa also has the option of extending the contract with NYPA for another 10 years subject to certain economic conditions.

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 Ranks are Atlatsa Resources Corporation (ATL - Snapshot Report), Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (SAND - Snapshot Report) and Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. (PZG - Snapshot Report). All of them hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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