Mineralogical locations
of Piedmont
by Patrizia and Massimo Deidda
Chiusella Valley
Diorite quarries-Pian Campiglia-Vico Canavese (Turin)


The Valchiuesella occupies the upper Canavese to Ivrea Northwest and is crossed by the Chiusella River tributary of the Dora Baltea.

Alpine mountain range formed about 50 million years ago.

Under the Valchiusella, about thirty million years ago, a volcano trying to rise to the surface with his molten magma.

Volcanoes that fail to reach the surface are called '' PLUTONS '', and the rocks that are formed when they solidify are called '' intrusive rocks. ''

The Pluto was forced to cool without being able to vent his strength, forming the mountain now called Betogne, and its heat melted and modified the rocks all around.

After millions of years, the erosion of the rocks brought to light the Pluto solidified.

This magma solidified millions of years is extracted from the quarries of Traversella, Brosso, and Vico and takes the name of diorite.


In Pian Campiglia just above the village of Vico Canavese (TO) is still a diorite quarry.

In ancient times between the end of the 19th century. and the beginning of the 20th century. were already active in Pian Campiglia '' grading '' corresponding to the old diorite quarry where sporadically it mined for construction and paving stones, 40 years followed a real phase of activity of cave with several workers and machinery for cultivation.


The mining or growing phase of the Quarry has currently shifted west of the old quarry which is used as landfill debris deposit Esplanade and a small part of the material from the cliff.




The unveiling is the first stage of cultivation of the quarry, which will allow the subsequent extraction stages.

Using earth-moving machines (excavators) and the use of explosives, where necessary, removed superficial coverage of the site (capellaccio).





Diorite blocks are taken from quarrying banks using primarily the hydraulic drifters.

Once the rock Bank be extracted (there are real growing projects of the quarry) are accomplished with the hole punch vertically inside the rock, the holes are aligned from one another from 20 cm to 30 cm. Are fixed to the rock drill of barramine that can measure from 80 cm to 8.60 meters long, equipped with a special diamond tip drill the rock and retrieve the ammassandola drilling dust into little piles, the main purpose is to prevent this waste into the air and is reused for the Sprint preparation of mine.

Obtained the holes, aligned and parallel, are placed the detonating cords from 3-6-9-12gr per cm depending on the piece of rock that you want to remove from the mountain.

If the detonating cord will split the blockage, using black powder added protected by rock powder extracted from the rock drill and hole flooding with water, will allow the Boulder of detached and stir from the main bank in the Sprint.

The primary block extraction method in this quarry is using a special machine equipped with a diamond wire cutting the diorite with a smooth, clean cut in this way the blocks obtained will not be solicited from the explosive that can trigger a shredding process.

The precious extracts diorite blocks are delivered in firm ready for processing.



In the course of cultivation of the quarries have been found exceptional mineral specimens.

Especially the beauty mineral samples where you can see associations of epidote crystals, prehnite, and cabasite.(G.C. 2003)


Quartz is a fairly common mineral in situ and accompanies the orthoclase and albite crystals, color shades vary from white to transparent quartz crystal smoky Quartz Black Crystal with typical Alpine dress you as rarity and on one occasion were found in samples of quartz Amethyst crystals without the array completely terminated.(G.C. 2003)

Interesting finding of octahedral crystals of magnetite and translucent calcite crystals much.

In situ, attributable to the unstable and dangerous old quarry, there are several minerals including those already over-described, with the exception of amethyst quartz: allanite, titanite crystals on crystals, Crystal clinocloro and sulphides, several samples of minerals not yet subject to analysis.

Please note that the search and collection of minerals in quarries is strictly subject to the authorisation of the same dealers.




Albite, anatase, allanite, apatite, Andrade, cabasite, clinocloro, calcite, diopside, epidote, edenite, forsterite, hedenbergite, magnetite, pyrite, quartz, orthoclase, scapolite, titanite, scheelite, spinello.




Small G.C., Maletto g., Bansal P., Larry b. (2007): Minerals of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta. Associazione Amici del Museo '' f. Eusebio '' Alba, ed., Alba (Cuneo) 607 pp.


Macro Micro: Piedmontese Association of Mineralogy and palaeontology No. 2007, p. 8.19-20





We thank the Company Brocco Emilio and Heirs that has allowed authors to make the photo report.

We thank Mr. Antonini Giorgio in charge of farming activities of the quarry.

We thank the Mineralogical Group of Valchiusella with a special round of applause to Gianfranco Chiappini for his discoveries made that made available of the authors for the report.

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Minerali Piemonte
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Photos and descriptions edited by
Patrizia and Massimo Deidda