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Alta Zinc buoyed by discovery of high-grade cobalt-nickel and copper-silver at Italian project

Punta Corna is complementary to Alta’s Italian base metals strategy and drilling is continuing at the flagship Gorno Project with two drills turning.

Alta Zinc Ltd -
Severin Valley was the centre of historical mining for cobalt/nickel at Punta Corna

Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI) is encouraged by the latest fieldwork at Punta Corna polymetallic project in Northern Italy which it says “has the potential to be extensive” as it is open in all directions, including vertically.

The company has carried out detailed mapping and sampling of seven main veins at Punta Corna that contained cobalt, nickel, copper and silver.

Mineralisation has so far been discovered over a strike length of at least 2,500 metres and down to a vertical depth of 340 metres.

The additional discovery of closely spaced mineralised vein ‘splays’, lying between several main veins, has increased the potential vein widths.

Further results from this campaign are expected shortly.

View looking south at the east side of Severin Valley, showing the historical mining expressions of two cobalt/nickel veins, inset a typical view of Speranza vein on surface.

“Very exciting”

Managing director Geraint Harris said it was “very exciting” to discover this system of mineralised sub-veins as they had the potential to “significantly add to the mineral endowment of the area”.

He said: “We, therefore, look forward to the further results of our 2020 field campaign and to planning the next steps of our exploration at Punta Corna,” he added.

The latest work builds on a 2018 sampling program, which returned up to 3.4% cobalt, 2.5% nickel, 6.1% copper and more than 900 grams per tonne of silver.

Exploration drilling to determine the extent of mineralisation was never undertaken at Punta Corna and underground mining simply followed mineralised vein outcrops from surface to underground.

Despite the relatively short historical mine life, the workings are extensive with any number of mining portals exploiting the multiple vein system over a total strike length of more than 4.5 kilometres.

Plan map of Punta Corna exploration areas.

Mined previously

Located in the Italian Alps, Punta Corna sits at an elevation of 2,800 metres. It is a short distance from the town of Usseglio and is less than four hours from Alta’s Gorno project.

Punta Corna deposit was extensively mined in a period of three years from around 1756 as an important source of cobalt for use as a natural vibrant blue pigment in European industry.

The short mine life was a result of these natural cobalt oxide pigments being replaced by synthetic substitutes.

Subsequent exploration carried out in the early 20th century demonstrated that mineralisation remained in-situ after mine closure and no further mining has taken place since.

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