Develop Next Generation Mining and Concentrator Technologies

The main aim of NextGen Mine to Concentrator program is to achieve a step change in metal production, capital effectiveness, OPEX and energy signatures of the Mine to Concentrator value chain by developing and implementing novel feed preparation methods at the mine and novel comminution, classification and separation processes at the concentrator.

Sarma has over 30 years of industrial and research experience in the fields of drilling, blasting and mine to mill process optimisation. Sarma was involved in the development and implementation of mine to mill optimisation concept at several global mining companies around the world, achieving significant improvements in mill performance and energy efficiency. In 2002 Sarma received the AusIMM Mineral Industry Operating Technique Award for implementing the Mine to Mill project.

Sarma has also implemented several large research projects for Australian Coal Association Research Programme (ACARP) in open pit blasting in coal mines. One of the innovative blast design – called “baby decking” from these research projects has been implemented by several open pit coal mines on a regular basis to reduce coal losses.

Industry Engagement

Sarma worked as General Manager with the Metso responsible for strategic projects implementation and Business Development activities. He worked for Thiess mining contractors as Technical Manager, where he built organisational capability in the design and delivery of Drill and Blast outcomes and worked for five years with Dyno-Nobel Asia-Pacific managing the DynoConsult in the east coast of Australia and Asia Pacific. Prior to coming to Australia Sarma worked with a major explosive supplier in India as Manager Blasting Services.


Sarma developed a strong relationship with CSIRO and implemented several ACARP projects jointly with them. He is also advisor to a department of science and technology project that is being conducted by the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India and he worked with the University of Concepcion in the formation of SMI-ICE Chile.

Key Publications

Kanchibotla, S. S., Valery, W. and Morrell, S. (1999). Modelling fines in blast fragmentation and its impact on crushing and grinding. In: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publication Series: Explo'99: A Conference on rock Breaking. Explo'99: A Conference on Rock Breaking, Kalgoorlie, WA, (137-144). 7-11 November 1999.

Kanchibotla, S. S. and Scott, A. (1999) A study of the influence of buffering on coal edge loss and dilution from cast blasting. Fragblast - The International Journal of Blasting and Fragmentation, 3/1999 365-375.

Kanchibotla, S. S. and Scott, A. (2000) Application of baby deck initiation to reduce coal damage during cast blasting. International Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment, 14 75-85.

Rogers, W., Kanchibotla, S., Tordoir. A., Ako, S., Engmann, E., Bisiaux, B. (2012), “Solutions to reduce blast-induced ore loss & dilution at the Ahafo open pit gold mine in Ghana”, 2012 Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Vol. 332.

Kanchibotla, Sarma S. (2014). Mine to mill value chain optimization: role of blasting. In Corby G. Anderson, Robert C. Dunne and John L. Uhrie (Ed.), Mineral processing and extractive metallurgy: 100 years of innovation (pp. 51-64) Englewood, CO, United States: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration. (eSpace)


2017-18 Barrick Mine to Mill Digitisation Project - $1,127,000
2014-15 Metso NextGen processing equipment and designs ~$600,000
2014-15 ACARP improved blast outcomes by integrating structural and blast modelling (with CSIRO) - $280,507
2012-14 ACARP blast fumes reduction - $670,000
2011-14 Rio Tinto Advanced mining and processing - $3,492,416