It seems inevitable that the penny, minted at a loss, must cease to exist as U.S. coinage. Do the cost-benefit, easy to see that it's only a question of when.
So, though it is currently illegal to melt pennies, the time should come when the law is scuttled. And then pre-1984 pennies should have substantial scrap value, that being when the mostly zinc penny was launched.
In anticipation, hoarders are hard at work... story here
And a tip of the hat to Esylum newsletter for the tip.