Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI ) continued to expand mineralisation at the Pian Bracca corridor within the Gorno Zinc Project in Lombardy, northern Italy with the focus on the new Pian Bracca South exploration corridor.
Recent results have confirmed new thick, high-grade extensions to the south of the central Pian Bracca zone, confirming the discovery of a Pian Bracca South exploration corridor.
Drill hole PBD27 intersected a previously unknown multi-layered zone of Pian Bracca-style mineralisation to the south of the southern-most fault which defines the east-west Pian Bracca Central corridor.
This Pian Bracca South area is interpreted to be a repeat zone of the same highly mineralised strata seen in the rest of Pian Bracca.
The discovery was predicted by structural analysis and demonstrates the benefit of the recent work done by Alta in better understanding and defining the structural controls in this area.
It also emphasises the capacity for further discoveries of highly mineralised pockets beyond the known mineralised boundaries, despite the complexity caused by faulting in this zone.
Drilling to start in March
In parallel with the drilling activities, the contractor and owner’s team worked to establish access, drilling platforms and services in the Ponente area, located 800 metres to the north west of Pian Bracca.
Alta has identified this area as the next drilling priority of the current campaign and expects that drilling in both Ponente and Pian Bracca South will be able to run in parallel from early March once a further smaller (Diamec 230) drill rig arrives on site.
Gorno Project exploration footprint
The latest structural model of the greater Gorno Project area extends the current exploration target to include the Fontanone area, with a demonstrated extension of 2.5 kilometres strike length and 750 metres down-dip from Pian Bracca.
Once the Ponente drilling is underway, Alta will continue to expand its exploration footprint to explore the mineralisation potential of this drill ready Fontanone target horizon.
Additionally, latest structural modelling includes the areas identified by recent sampling at Arera, the mineralised extensions at Fontanone and the Zorzone resource area and confirms the presence of high-grade sulphide mineralisation throughout the greater Gorno Project area.
The exploration licence (Cime EL) area at Gorno covers approximately 1,200 hectares centred over the Gorno mine encompassing the historical underground workings and areas of near-mine prospectivity.
This Cime EL is valid until 5 July 2023 with the right to extend for three years to expiry in 2026 and authorises both the drilling and associated underground works for the Gorno exploration program.
In addition, a mining licence (ML) renewal application lodged in December 2019 is currently being assessed by the various regulatory stakeholders.
The EL and the ML footprints are similar, and once the ML has been approved it will also allow Alta to continue exploration for the life of the ML which is expected to be 20+ years.
As a result of ongoing consultation with the Regione Lombardia an expanded mine ventilation plan has been prepared and a geotechnical assessment is in progress to supplement the documentation submitted in support of the ML application.
Punta Corna Cobalt Project (Piedmont, Northern Italy)
Alta has announced the discovery of new high-grade cobalt-nickel and copper-silver veins at Punta Corna and also the sampling of veins which were historically bulk sampled in the late 1930’s.
A series of closely spaced mineralised veins were mapped and sampled by Alta’s geologists, who have only recently become aware of their existence through examination of historical archives and reports.
Mineralisation is hosted in a series of parallel well-defined hydrothermal veins of extensive strike length (multiple kilometre’s).
In several areas these veins show outcropping cobalt/nickel/copper mineralisation that was historically mined from surface.
The historic mining was of a limited extent determined by the primitive technology available at the time and the complete lack of any systematic exploration ahead of the working face.
As a result, there is significant untested exploration potential at Punta Corna.
Punta Corna permitting
A comprehensive 3-year EL renewal application and plan of work, including a detailed diamond drilling program, has been prepared and was submitted to authorities in December 2020.
Alta anticipates that approval of the application could be received in time for commencement of the high altitude 2021 drilling season (June/July).
The company is confident that the planned program will significantly increase the knowledge of the mineralisation at depth and along strike from historical mining areas.
This is with the intention of potentially defining a significant new mineral deposit containing the raw materials which are now critically important for the European EV supply-chain.
Punta Corna is considered as both a geologically and commercially exciting organic growth project for the company.
This project potential, allied with the current and future macro prospects for global cobalt demand and particularly the development of an extensive battery manufacturing industry domestically in Europe, serves to underscore the as yet unrealised value potential of this asset.