Mineralogical locations
of Piedmont
by Patrizia and Massimo Deidda
Grande Lanzo Valley
Fragnè mine-Fraz. airway Meadows-Chialamberto (TO)

Situated on the left bank of the Valle Grande di Lanzo, the mine of Fragnè, near Via meadows, part of the municipality of Chialamberto (TO), the southernmost portion of Mount Bellavarda (2345 m), the name deriving from the excellent views from its Summit.

The municipality of Chialamberto borders the Orco Valley with mount Bessum and mount Tovo and with the Locana from Pian of Spich to the tip of Vallon.

The borders South divide part of Great Valley with the Ala Valley at del Monte Pellerin, Red Mountain and Mount Doubia.

The boundaries West leave from Mount Doubia, Missirola Head, beak, Becco di Mesdì Ciani, the Rocche di Filonas, Colle, Colle di Giardon and mount Bessum bordering the boundaries with the municipality of Groscavallo.

To the East is the imposing mount Bellavarda to the border with the municipality of Cantoira.



In 1359 the population of Chialamberto was 17 fires (families) since it appears to be a mirror of the Castellana di Lanzo.[1]

The population of the Valli di Lanzo was in about 1211 1359 fires (families) equivalent to 6055 people, [1] to become about 22440 in 1824 (calendar of Regii, States 1824.)

According to the registry of 1858 its population was about people and 23657 census published by the Ministry of agriculture and trade of 1862 shows a considerable emigration of about 3800 people towards the plains of Piedmont and other countries including France, Spain and Belgium. [2]

In 1862 the population of Chialamberto was about 1329 in 1831 BEF. and formed three separate municipalities, Vonzo, Mottera and Chialamberto.[2]

The village was probably called Vonzo Oven of Chialamberto so as compiling a mirror of Castellania di Lanzo built in 1359 to a subsidy granted to the count of Savoy from his subjects to purchase the land of Vaud and of the Valromey, in the mirror are attributed to this country well 20 fires. (families) [1], [2].

Prior to joining Vonzo Mottera, and Chialamberto had a population of 240 inhabitants between White House, Chialambertetto, House of Truc, Casa dei Micchiardi, Ferrere, Campetto and the Hermitage, the next occurred in 1596 Union conclusion of a Praetorian Register only at Chialamberto. [2]

Also in 1862, many inhabitants of Chialamberto, about one-fifth are beginning to emigrate to other countries of the Region and other countries including Belgium, including France and Spain, some of them were miners. [2]

Famous excellent waters of fontane di Mottera, the aqueduct was completed in 1857. [2]

From the context of the breadth of the municipalities of the Valli di Lanzo shows that in the municipality of Chialamberto in the year 1862 on a total surface of 3296, 150 hectares were destined to fields, meadows, 250, 400 Woods, 180 were uncultivated fields, pastures, 250 1040 underpants (muande) and prunai, 1026 rocche waters and glaciers. [2]

The name of the Alpine pastures of Chialamberto was as follows, straw, Chiavanisso, Lombarda and Vassola, Veiletto, Sambernero, Missirola, Unghiasse between Chialamberto and Bonzo. [2]

From the above data is not to be excluded, in relation to the coat of arms of the municipality of Chialamberto that the cow, under the three-pointed Crown, either due to an economy that was once based mainly on animal husbandry.

Were grown in the municipality of Chialamberto, rye, maize, barley, potatoes, hemp and the screw. [2]

In the 14th century the bear lived the valli di Lanzo, hunting for the counts of Savoy (1351), in Bruscairola, near Mottera was common mountain or rooster, pheasant fasan in Piedmontese dialect.

Wolves, foxes and wild boars were very common in all the valleys.

From 1650 until 1822 the woods of the Lanzo valleys were completely destroyed by the hand of man, only in 1822 a strict forest Act put an end to this destruction.

The first historical records of mine dating back to the 18th century when in 1760 the House Granieri abandoned work on a mine of iron and copper to Vonzo Fragnè region. [2]

The report of an abandoned mine on the left orographic side of Stura and Chialamberto, Cantoira, including work carried out by the House, would correspond to the same Graneri mine where it describes the alteration of iron pyrite in the sands and the manufacture of iron vitriol. [2]

A silver mine would have existed before 1735 in Lavencia region cultivated by Antonio Genta already cured of Cantoira. [2]

In the 19th century signaled the presence of pyrite on the slopes of Bellavarda in the region of Uja Fragnè rio Vonzo and casale. [3]

In 1883, with prefectoral was given permission to search Mr Palmer Chiariglione Antonio, Pento Peter and Lawrence Bastian Baptist Ternerti.[6]

In 1886 the concession passed to Dynamite Nobel limited company, after a few years of closing the mine reopens in 1891.[6]

From the Archivio Storico del Comune di Chialamberto the author has found the below news.

Register of Complaints of conduct of industrial Opifizi, quarries or mines.

N° 1 June 1898 Inscription

Province and district of Turin – Dynamite Nobel limited company Company of Avigliana – subject of Ind. Iron pyrite mine – place: Chialamberto – turbine Engines used: a large force 10 horses – workers employed: adult males, adult females 49 199, young males and females (0) – Lanzo Director May 23, 1898 v. Sommariva.

Comune di Lanzo.(Filed at Chialamberto historical archive)

Lanzo June 5, 1898 subject: Watch for the enforcement of the law on children's work addressed to Mr. Mayor of Chialamberto reference located in Turin.

Directed by prefecture of the province of Turin.

Turin July 11, 1898.

Subject: Watch for the enforcement of the law on children's work.

With the exception of the three team leaders from the Veneto region, the mine's work force was local, Chialamberto, Cantoira, Ceres, in the intervening decades, authentic period, many miners came to Chialamberto from Tuscany.

The author reported the miners ' lists in the historical archives to inquire cooperation aimed at reconstructing testimony, memories and photographic material of the Fragnè mine, appeal to all people to recognize in those names their ancestors or acquaintances.

The same appeal is addressed to all those who have had relatives, friends or acquaintances who worked in the mines of Chialamberto, the Fragnè mine which ceased its activities in 1965.

To complement this report, the author would like to thank in advance those who wish to contact him on info@mineralipiemonte.it.

Workers from the list deposited at the archives shows that as of November 15, 1898 and a small variation on the integration period from 5 January to February 5, 1899 showed that the workforce described included a total of:

Nr. 41 Miners a male between the ages of 22 and 55 years old, coming from the municipalities of Chialamberto, Cantoira, Ceres;

Nr. 21 male Laborers an aged 17 and 62 years, coming from the municipalities of Chialamberto, Cantoira, Ceres, and Ala di Stura;

Nr. 2 Machinists 26 male and 32 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto and Ceres source;

Nr. 2 Blacksmiths 29 male and 49 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto, Cantoira source;

Nr. 3 male irons Holder aged between 15 and 19 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto.

Nr. 1 Shredder male 16 years from the town of origin of Chialamberto.

Nr. 3-down mines Involved male aged between 30 and 42 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto.

Nr. 3 Head male Workers aged between 37 and 42 years from the communes of origin of Agorno (Belluno);

Nr. optical system 11 female aged between 15 and 23 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto, Cantoira source;

Nr. 11 female Washers between the ages of 16 and 34 years from the municipalities of Chialamberto.

At the end of 1900 works are suspended until 1920, then in 1922 in an auction the Turin Court granted Mr. Carlo Ligieri who ceded the exploitation to Soc. An. Up and Soc. Sclopis and Co, after a restructuring plan the mine resumed work from 1922 to 1926 to stop work again until 1939. [6]

In 1941 the concession was transferred to Soc. Fragnè mines, mining activity continued slowly from 1942 to 1947 when intensified exploitation with more satisfactory results.[6]

Historical Archive of the municipality of Chialamberto as of March 11, 1958 results in relation to the Fragnè mine, a project for deriving water from '' Rio Vonzo '' (also called '' Rio Straw '') in the municipality of Chialamberto.


' A '-works for the derivation of water (8 l./sec)

'' B ''-Iron Pipe for water supply from the tank junction works

feeding system.

'' There ' – power plant container (existing).

'' D '' – pre-existing Channel to return water to the Creek through '' Gora of

Airway meadows. ''

After a period of stasis that elapses from 1951 to 1958 resumed work until 1965 year of definitive closure of the mine. [6]

Geological framework (Dr. Lorenzo Mariano Gallo)

The main mineralized, powerful layer about one metre and interposed between layers of leucocratic gneisses in bed and roof prasiniti, consists of massive pyrite, faintly cuprifera, coarse grained. The sequence is strongly distorted by a large Syncline fold, with the added complication of fault systems and other smaller-scale folds.

The deposit belongs to the Group of mineralization in pyrite cuprifera "Stratus", frequent in the Western Alps, which are associated with the ophiolitic complex Mesozoic metamorphites known in literature as "the formation of calcareous schist with green stones". The "green stone", gabbrico-peridotitica or composition products basic chemistry effusive-in lava, then unit in serpentine, prasiniti, leucocratic gneisses, cloritoscisti, etc., are usually associated with the mineralization. [4] [5] [6].

The authors, M.D.-P.G.

Excellent and meticulous geological – petrographic descriptions and descriptions of mineral deposit piritoso bodies – cuprifero of Chialamberto, work done between 1965 and 1970 by Dr. Peter Zuccato under the direction of Prof. Dino di Colbertaldo.

In the footsteps of Fr. Zuccato the author manages to reconstruct the history of the Fragnè mine from 1900 until 1965 year of cessation of mining activities and to indicate very precisely the photo report which concerned different levels of galleries now abandoned, well-known levels by noted geologist and documented with maps of mineral bodies and stereo the mine plan.

The historical period prior to 1900 was described by the author with searches in archivio storico del comune di Chialamberto, gave negative results searches in State archives.

The mine is currently abandoned, the author hopes that an enhancement process can affect this site as soon as possible with the birth of a new Geo-mineral Park.

Considering the State of abandonment of the mine hazard levels and now completely flooded the author invites fans to this virtual journey reminding and exhorting all at the same time not to venture into the mine, safety and common sense must prevail on everything.

The development of the underground work is around 5 Miles, galleries that branch off in 11 levels. [6]

For this report have been taken into account the 899 and 916.

The Santa Barbara is one of the oldest shipyards, is divided into left and Santa Barbara Santa Barbara right lenses were 10 meters broad, cultivated, 90 metres long and 2 metres high, are still clearly visible wings of the deposit.

A small sampling of sulfates and sulfides interspersed is still under consideration at the Department of Earth Sciences University of Turin.


Albite, calcite crystals, ivory scalenoedri chalcopyrite in crystals and micro granules, copiapite in microcrystalline aggregates, thysanura, covellite in plates, plaster in prismatic crystals from colorless to white to Brown, yellow goethite, magnetite in microcrystals, melanterite octahedral crystals, pickeringite in pyrite crystals, crystals and grains, massive quartz , sphalerite in microcrystals and noduletti.

Enargite, galena, molybdenite, tetraedrite, vallerite, pyrrhotite, rutile, titanite and ilmemite, minerografico examination result from sez. lucida [6]

Reference bibliography

[1] l. Cibrario, 1868. The Valli di Lanzo and Usseglio nor half times.

[2] l. Chan, 1867. Essay by Statistical and historical regional studies of the Valli di Lanzo.

[3] g. Jervis, 1876. Underground treasures of Italy.

[4] g. Booty, Mastrangelo f., Christmas Zucchetti, s. (1975). The Western Alps. In Carr C, g. Stampanoni (edit.). Illustrative of memory Map of Italy mining. 1: 100,000 scale. -Mem. to serve. descr. darta geol. En., XIV: 1-17.

[5] De Benedetti, 1965. All manganese deposits-radiolariti-piritoso-cupriferi-ore rocks known as fuchsite, as a representative of Malm in the formation of calcareous schist. – Bull. Soc. Geol. En., 84 (19: 131-163.

[6] Zuccato p., 1970. Piritoso-cuprifero field of Chialamberto in Val Grande di Lanzo (Piedmont). : Bull. Ass min. Subalp., 7: 130-166.

Research and the collection of minerals in the Piedmont region is regulated by regional law No. 51 April 4, 1995, collector purposes only, scientific and educational.


My heartfelt thanks to Istituto Geografico Militare in Florence that has made available the cartography of the area treated.

A special thanks to my dear friend Jerome Cosseddu always ready and attentive to the processes of development.

A special thanks to the Town of Chialamberto and Mayor Giuseppe Matteo Drò for your interest and availability we have had to make this report.

My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Lorenzo Mariano Gallo curator of Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino.

We thank the Earth Sciences Department University of Turin with special thanks to Prof. Emanuele Costa.

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