The 2.4¢ includes ALL expenses of the Mint that are allocated to the One Cent coin. (they technically are not "pennies" by the way)
This includes administration, storage, transportation, marketing, et cetera, and NOT just the costs of the raw materials using a contract spot price.
I can't find any government report that shows this allocated expense at 4.8¢ per unit. The latest one I find is from FY 2011 and it reports 2.4¢ (FY12 is not out yet)
Note also, previously, the Mint did not allocate many expenses that are fixed to each denomination, particularly to the One Cent and Five Cent coins. It does now. So previous reports show much lower per unit costs than now, but while some of that is attributed to variance in materials cost, some is attributed to accounting practices.
You also can't take current spot to calculate this cost even for raw materials. This is primarily because the U.S. government buys in larger contracts than spot is listed for, and because the government may have bought a much larger supply at a lower price, and since then the spot price has risen. (though this MAY reflect cost increases in future years of production) This all depends on if the Mint uses the actual purchase price or the replacement cost method for valuing inventory. I would think since they attempt to report seigniorage, then they use actual cost.
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