About the L-MUVA [Low Maintenance Utility Vehicle ADiT]
In the late 80’s we had a brief to build a low-maintenance utility vehicle for the underground metalliferous mining industry that was efficient in decline tunnels: able to turn in its own length, be a mobile work bench, place and recover pumps, etc.
After experimenting with different configurations, a 6x6 prototype was put into service. On the strength of the success of that model, more units were commissioned. They proved to be extremely stable platforms for a multitude of mining roles including the installation of mine services, grouting, shotcreting, charging faces, etc. These custom-built machines upfront costs were initially higher compared to mass produced light vehicles, however they made up for it many times over in their economy of ownership and operation. They were utilised in-house and not marketed.
The first prototype of this vehicle in service in the 1980's with the development of Carpentaria Gold's Henty Gold Mine, Tasmania and Tom's Gully in the Northern Territory. Subsequent models were used at Carpentaria Gold's operation at Ravenswood and the refined version was used in the underground development of McArthur River Mine, Northern Territory and Pajingo Mine, out of Charters Towers.
In 2014 the project was resurrected on the basis of market research and the decision was made to refurbish an early model unit* with current diesel/hydraulic technology. After 2 years of testing and the assessment of new materials, Tier 3 engines and the latest hydraulics and electronics, the first L-MUVA (Low-Maintenance Utility Vehicle by ADiT) drove off the assembly line.
*The 2015 prototype L-MUVA utilised the original chassis, trunions and swingarms from a 1991 Ferret that ceased service in 1999; a testament to the durability of the design.
The current L-MUVA has all the attributes of the original machines but is superior in regard to speed, control and management. The simple componentry is off the shelf from major hydraulics supplier, Parker and engine supplier, Penske. TEi Services Pty Ltd were commissioned to formalise the drawings and calculations for the L-MUVA, which have been independently verified by HME Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd.
The important points are that it is safer, more efficient, more durable and will reduce capital, operating and environmental costs. Mining companies will see it reducing injury frequency experienced using current tool carriers. The L-MUVA will:
Reduce operating costs by up to 80%
Reduce capital purchase cost by up to +200%
Reduce space required for abandonment of used vehicles
Assist making big steps in ecological savings
The vision for the L-MUVA is for it to become the mining vehicle of choice in Australian and Overseas mines. Proudly Australian made and aiming to expand production within Australia.
About Engineering Directors
Derek Thompson and son, Stephen Thompson, are the Directors of ADiT Engineering Pty Ltd and the Farnsway-Faminco Group.
The Farnsway-Faminco Group was established in 1983, originally as an underground metalliferous contract mining business in the 1980's and 90's, which was sold to Downers (Roche Mining) in 1999.