In the Lombardy region of northern Italy Energia has two application for uranium tenements, Novazza and Val Vedello projects which are located some 60 km’s from Milan.
The two uranium applications, Novazza and Val Vedello both overlie previously identified significant uranium mineralisation discovered by the leading Italian government-owned company AGIP SpA (now ENI SpA). Both projects contain substantial underground development that was commenced in the early 1980's in anticipation of uranium mining. However this was interrupted when Italy closed down its domestic nuclear power program after a referendum on the subject in 1987.
Novazza is situated on a forested hill slope at about 1000m altitude, some 6km of underground development exists with offices and workshops under care and maintenance. No ore mining has been conducted to date.Val Vedello lies some 12km further to the north at higher altitude.
In a further referendum held on 13 June 2011, Italian citizens voted to repeal laws passed in the previous year to restart a domestic nuclear energy program in the country.
While the outcome of this referendum removes the likelihood of Italian domestic demand for uranium, local consumption is not necessary for the successful exploration for and development of uranium projects - as demonstrated in Australia. The Licences in northern Italy are located near to other potential markets for uranium within Europe as well as export facilities for the global market.
It continues to be Energia's understanding that the nuclear energy laws do not directly affect the authorisation process for the granting of the uranium Exploration Licence Applications in northern Italy; accordingly, the Company will continue to pursue the grant of these licences.
The applications at both Novazza and Val Vedello cover volcanogenic or vein-hosted uranium-polymetallic mineralisation that is hosted in lower Permain volcanics and volcanogenic sediments which originally developed in fault-bound extensional basins over metamorphic basement.
The mineralisation comprises the uranium oxide pitchblende associated with massive sulphides (predominantly sphalerite). This style of mineralisation may be responsive to a range of ground based or aerial geophysical techniques and it is significant that a number of other, less well-investigated uranium occurrences are known in the area.
AGIP SpA conducted extensive drilling (predominantly underground diamond totalling 2,000 metres) at Novazza in addition to development on three levels. Based on an analysis of this historical extensive work, the Independent Geologist for Energia’s IPO concluded that an Exploration Target of 2.5-3Mlbs of U3O8 at a grade of between 1,000ppm to 2,000ppm U3O8 could be inferred for the Novazza deposit. It is also reported to be open down plunge and along strike.
Less information is available for the Val Vedello deposit located within Energia’s second application area in a less accessible area at higher altitude north of Novazza. However, it is regarded by Italian geologists as a similar style of deposit which is possibly larger but of lower grade than Novazza.
Energia will continue to work with the Italian authorities to secure the grant of the Novazza and Val Vedello tenements so that due diligence can be performed on the historical work and the potential of these intriguing deposits can be assessed.