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Ecometals Announces Drilling to Start at Rio Zarza Gold Project, Ecuador

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2009) - Ecometals Limited (TSX VENTURE:EC)(BERLIN:GDQ)(FRANKFURT:GDQ) -

Ecometals Limited is very pleased to announce it has all the approvals to enable diamond drilling at its Rio Zarza Gold Project in Ecuador. The Company has ordered mobilization of the diamond drilling contractor and expects drilling to start by mid December. Drill targets will test anomalous geophysical and geochemistry results, host lithologies and structural scenario analogous to Kinross' neighbouring Fruta del Norte gold deposit.

Rio Zarza Gold Project

The Rio Zarza Gold Project is located to the north of Zamora, the district capital of Zamora Chinchipe province, south-eastern Ecuador. The project adjoins the Kinross (formerly Aurelian) exploration license which covers the Fruta del Norte epithermal deposit with a reported 13.7Moz Au (Micon, 2007).

Exploration results to date on the Rio Zarza project indicate anomalous gold and associated pathfinder elements typical of epithermal-style mineralization in a package of sedimentary and volcanic rocks formed in a pull-apart structural basin. Anomalous IP chargeability is indicative of sulphide mineralization, and detailed magnetic surveys indicate complex faulting. Hydrothermal alteration including bleaching, advanced argillic and chloritic alteration, and particularly sulphides and silicification are typical and analogous to the Fruta del Norte deposit.


The Ministerio del Ambiente has approved the Plan de Manejo (Environmental Management Plan) and issued an environmental operations permission for advanced exploration (including diamond drilling) for the Rio Zarza gold project. The beneficiary of the environmental bond held by Banco de la Produccion S.A. Produbanco has been changed from the Ministry of Non Renewable Resources to the Ministry of Environment, and the term renewed for one year.

The permit to supply water for both potable and drilling fluids has been granted by the Ministry of Water. The Company's exploration programme has been presented by DINAMI and was accepted by local communities in the direct impact area, and the Secretaria de Pueblos has sent a confirmatory letter to the Ministry of Non Renewable Resources.

All necessary permits according to the Ley de Mineria (2009) and related legislation and regulations are in legal compliance, which allows the Company to continue advanced exploration, including diamond drilling.


After technical and financial evaluation of tenders from international and local Ecuador based drilling contractors, the contract for drilling has been awarded to TerraNova Drilling SA of Ecuador.

In preparation for drilling, the Rio Zarza camp has been refurbished to expand the accommodation, and a core logging, sampling and storage building has been constructed.

Drilling will use a HydraCore 2000 man-portable rig to minimize the impact of access road construction. The Contractor has 14 days after signing the contract to mobilize to site. Drilling is expected to commence mid-December 2009, followed by a break over Christmas, and will continue early in the New Year.

The initial planned programme is for 1200m in three to five holes, which may be extended under the same contract terms to 5000m depending on favourable results. Drill holes will be inclined to determine the orientation of structures and mineralized veins. Holes will be collared using HQ (nominal 63.5mm) size and reduce to NQ (47.6mm) with depth.

Paths to drill sites are being hand-cut along routes which avoid felling large trees, and following the terrain contours to ease man transport of the drill rig.

Core will be transported from the drill site to the Rio Zarza camp, where geological logging and sampling for geochemical analysis will be conducted. Samples will be dispatched using full chain of custody documentation to the ALS Chemex sample preparation laboratory in Quito and analysed at the ALS Chemex laboratory in Lima, Peru. ALS Chemex is an ISO certified laboratory.

Drilling, sampling and dispatch will all be under the direct supervision of the in-house Qualified Person, SR McMullan, P.Geo. Quality Control protocols will include industry-standard insertion of control samples (blanks, internationally Certified Reference Material, and duplicates) at 10% frequency.

To view the map accompanying this press release please click on the following link:

Further details and maps of the planned drilling program can be obtained from the Ecometals web site (

Chief Executive Officer Fran Scola said,

"We are very pleased that the Government of Ecuador has shown strong support for the development of the minerals sector, and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Ministry of the Environment and other bodies. It is our corporate pledge to work in an environmentally and socially conscious way in accordance with the new regulatory system in Ecuador."

Qualified Person

SR McMullan, P.Geo, Vice President of Exploration for Ecometals Limited, is a qualified person according to National Instrument 43-101 definition and has supervised the preparation of the technical information included in this press release.

About Ecometals

Ecometals Limited is a Canadian-listed mineral exploration and development company focused on mineral resources in Latin America. Apart from its gold exploration activities in Ecuador, Ecometals also has significant manganese and iron projects in Brazil at grass roots and development planning stages.

Safe Harbor Statement: Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements which involve risk and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward looking statements. These include risks relating to changes in economic or environmental conditions and the company's ability to execute its business model and strategic plans. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. The company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly forward looking information, except as required by law.

"Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release."
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