December 4, 2020
Digital Terrain, Innovation, Simbio, Technology

Created by Andrew Rouse, PYBAR’s Chief Technology Officer, Digital Terrain is dedicated to the development and trial of key innovations with the goal to integrate the end products into day to day operations and roll them out across project sites.

Innovation is critical to ensuring a competitive edge within the mining industry. Working in close collaboration with technology partner, Digital Terrain, has provided PYBAR with a competitive edge alongside demonstrated improvements in safety, cost management and productivity.

Digital Terrain, created by Andrew Rouse, PYBAR’s Chief Technology Officer is dedicated to the identification, evaluation, development and trial of key innovations with the goal to integrate the end products into day to day operations and roll them out across project sites.

PYBAR’s current suite of innovative mining technology has undergone a commercialisation process, making them available to other clients within the mining industry and ultimately providing funding for ongoing research and development.

Digital Terrain has developed a core mining data solution suite called Simbio, which tracks every aspect of underground mining. Simbio solutions are operated via an app and work offline or with a constant underground network connection, meaning data can be continually recorded and stored.


Simbio PLAN is an electronic whiteboard and roster planning tool, which integrates into PYBAR’s roster and HR systems. PLAN streamlines handovers and heading status updates and assists in setting the scene for the shift ahead. The tool has the ability to integrate with other platforms, ensuring similar results are achieved for external clients.


Simbio PLOD (previously PYBAR’s iPLOD) captures all key underground mining information, from equipment pre-starts to mining physicals, removing paperwork and streamlining shift decision making. Safety forms are available instantaneously, facilitating simplified hazard reporting and photo capture. PLOD can be configured to capture client data requirements, such as geology sampling, face mark-up, geotechnical inspection, stockpile tracking and ore grade.


Simbio MANAGE (previously PYBAR’s WebBAR) is a valuable data model used as a single data source to track all operational metrics, including development advances, tonnes bogged and production drill metres captured from PLOD. The tool has the ability to work with production data, ensuring it is valid and reconciled to survey and track known results. This information then syncs to other programs, such as clients’ ERP (enterprise resource planning) and reporting tools.

The Simbio PLAN, PLOD and MANAGE solutions are fully integrated, streamlining the process and ensuring that data is entered only once. Each component has been tested and proven extensively within PYBAR operations and delivers demonstrated improvements in safety, efficiency and quality control.

Simbio MANAGE has been in use for over 10 years, and PLOD for four. Together they have tracked recordings in excess of:

  • 190,000 development metres
  • 2.6 million production drill metres
  • 50 million tonnes material bogged
  • 250,000 PLODs uploaded in three years

Annually, Simbio saves PYBAR approximately:

  • 300,000 sheets of A4 paper
  • 300,000 pre-start forms
  • 300,000 TWI forms
  • $150,000 in printing costs
  • 25,000 hours of administration time

Other Digital Terrain innovations at various stages of development include:

  • 3D scanning: enabling mapping of challenging and inaccessible areas both on the surface and underground, with the Emesent Hovermap mobile LiDAR scanning unit. This technology is used in many applications, including decline, shaft, stope, stockpile and tailings storage facility inspections. Future expansions in this area are planned to add additional drone and photogrammetry services.
  • IoT Solutions: an environmental monitor that has been in use at Dargues Gold Mine and provides live ventilation survey readings for temperature and gases underground. One of its uses is helping detect when it is safe to commence re-entries after firing, saving valuable time in the development cycle.
  • Simbio CLONE: a mine visualisation tool used to monitor underground in real time and for quality assurance. CLONE is currently in development and scheduled for a release in 2021.

PYBAR’s partnership with Digital Terrain is key to its continuous improvement through proven innovations, demonstrating ongoing advancements in safety performance, cost reduction and increased productivity through the further development of these products and solutions.

For more information on Digital Terrain and their business improvement technology, including paperless data capture, analysis and digitisation, visualisation and mapping, visit their website at:

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