Mineralogical locations
of Piedmont
by Patrizia and Massimo Deidda
Grande Lanzo Valley
Manganese mines of Vernetto-Ceres (TO)

In the historical archive of the city of Ceres found news about these manganese mines except for a request from a company that in 1954 '' Italian Manganesifera Soc. An '', asked permission to search for iron ores and copper in Voragno, the following permission permission to search for the company's July 21, 1952 Paschal at the Col Revenge, this is a search of pyrite in Bella Costa above Voragno, considering the name of the anonymous society and the end of the extractions performed in the mines of Vernetto that should coincide with that time is not ruled out that it is the same company that made the advances in mining.

We believe that the abandoned mines of manganese of Vernetto are to be placed in authentic period.

Vernetto mine.

Near the last houses of the village Vernetto, small hamlet of Ceres (TO), is a votive pillar where a trail invaded by Brambles the borders towards monte and in just 10 minutes of travel takes us near the abandoned mine of manganese placed at an altitude of 733 meters.

Landfills are held by a high stone wall structure about 4 metres wide and deep and about 8 meters, cubic meters of material retrieved from the galleries do not justify such a small landfill, unlike the other two levels, 877 and 1047, where you can see that the majority of the ore and is still in the dumps as a result of the three levels of mining this driver should have given some satisfactory outcome.

The mine entrance is partially blocked by a big chestnut tree that was cut down against and as always we strongly recommend to enter inside the galleries that though passable are on the verge of collapse, security and common sense should always prevail over all things.

Inside the mine we observed the presence of thousands of spiders and crickets that covered the walls and vaults of the galleries.

In autumn the galleries floor turns into catwalk for many salamanders show that in winter they Hibernate under the collapsed ruins from times of galleries.

Minerals found.

Albite crystals and massive, massive braunite and crystals, epidote crystals and massive perfectly finished, massive piemontite and sorted into crystals of a beautiful magenta color, mass and quartz crystals,spessartina hyaline to yellowish, manganese oxides, sulphides.

Intermediate Vernetto-rock mine Here.


Abandoned manganese mine of the intermediate Vernetto is easily accessible from the village Passiolo, near the Vernetto aqueduct, in 20 minutes.

A marked trail along a picturesque abandoned forge used by nailmakers and then climbing steeply and reach near the houses Here where just above is the manganese mine.

It is proper to point out once again the extreme danger of the abandoned mine tunnels, a few metres from the entrance to the galleries floor stops in mid-air with great vertical extraction pit, the tunnels are almost completely collapsed and a large scale collapse may be imminent, security and common sense should always prevail over all things.

Advance in extraction vertical shaft corresponds in its perpendicular upwards the outcrop of the manganesifero vein capellaccio which is still visible in the woods outside of the mine.

Minerals found.

Massive and Albite crystals, ardennite in coatings and in crystalline aggregates, massive braunite and crystals, massive, piemontite quartz and rare crystalline massive, spessartina in yellow crystals.


Top Vernetto mine-Roc D'Aquila.


Of three abandoned mines is the least known, has provided a number of species of higher manganese ores to the other two levels.

Intermediate mine can be reached in 25 minutes by following the crestino West from the entrance of the tunnel that crosses after 20 minutes of driving a marked trail marked off by a wall that cuts off crestino at a height of approximately 1032 turning right leads in 5 minutes before mine, just before this, about twenty metresThere is a second gallery of little interest is indeed rare mineralogical the presence of crystallisation in its landfills.

The entrance of the mine under this research is located at an altitude of 1047 m, the extraction pit, under the open sky, is hidden or at least hidden and partly blocked by a birch trunk which blocks the vertical of about 13 meters and is the antechamber to the small gallery that can fool, a sort of trap considering the consistency of a birch tree exposed to weathering and breakup time, stay away from partially obstructed is fundamental safety and common sense should always prevail over all things.

Minerals and barren of this level are scattered for about 150 metres in the small valley below as evidence of mining activity.

This location is also known as the '' Keys '' cross but both geographically and administratively, we are in the territory of the municipality of Ceres.

The Mineralogical interest area is bordered to the North by the municipality of Monastero di Lanzo and East to Weybridge.


Minerals found.

Albite crystals and massive, massivebraunite , caryopilite in crystalline aggregates polyethylene spherules, chrysotile to short-fibre flax, massive Hematite and goethite crystals in black polyethylene spherules, kutnahorite, malachite and mass in crystals, neotocite accompanies the rhodonite in nodules of up to 10 cm, oxides of manganese, quartz crystals and Semitransparent massive covered with oxides of manganese, massive rhodochrosite and microcrystals, rhodonite , centimetric crystals and massive, sulphides, spessartina , centimetric crystals and massive with various shades of colors ranging from Canary yellow to bright red.


Special thanks to l' Istituto Geografico Miliatre of Florence who has made available the cartography of the area treated.

We thank the City of Ceres (TO) that allowed authors to consult the historical archive of the municipality and delimit with precision the limits of boundaries of localities.


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Minerali Piemonte
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Photos and descriptions edited by
Patrizia and Massimo Deidda