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|I he Electrolytic Refining and Smelting Company (ER&S) has oper- ated a copper smelter at Port Kembla, NSW since 1908. The feasibility of modernising the smelter was recently studied and external influences were shown to have a substantial impact on the project economics. Profita- bility is determined by the relative magnitudes of treatment charge income earned from processing raw materials and the operating costs incurred. Treatment charges are usually denominated in U.S. dollars and are deter- mined by market forces in the world copper industry. ER&S is no different from other Australian manufacturing industries in that it must maintain its competitive position by controlling costs. The modernisation project seeks to achieve this through new technology and improved labour Productivity.|