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Ecometals Announces Start of Shallow Diamond Drilling Programme, Rio Zarza Gold Project Ecuador

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2011) - Ecometals Limited (TSX VENTURE:EC)(BERLIN:GDQ)(FRANKFURT:GDQ) -

Ecometals Limited is pleased to announce contracting of RD Mandrill for diamond drilling, mobilization of the rig to the project, and start of drilling on first of estimated 10 hole/1000m shallow drilling programme on the Rio Zarza Gold Project, southern Ecuador.



-- Ecometals contracted RD Mandrill of Cuenca, Ecuador to undertake shallow

diamond drilling of estimated 10 hole/1000m programme

-- Drill mobilized to Rio Zarza site and set up on RZDDH11-01, drilling

commenced 14 May 2011

-- Drill targets sited on IP Chargeability anomalies indicative of

sulphides associated with gold mineralization


Drill Target Selection

Drill targets were selected primarily on the basis of anomalous IP Chargeability, which is indicative of sulphides associated with gold and polymetallic veins in this area. Other criteria for target selection included proximity to artisanal bedrock workings, terrain and magnetic lineaments indicative of structure, and anomalous soil geochemistry.

Five targets have been initially planned, with four additional target areas to be investigated. Should results of the first hole on a target provide encouraging visual indications of mineralization, a second follow-up hole will be drilled before moving the drill to the next site. Further details on the drill target selection will be posted on the Company Web site at

Should the shallow drilling not encounter significant results, provision is made to drill shallow targes in the Misahualli-Suarez basin, which is host to the Fruta del Norte deposit and provided encouraging results in the 2010 drilling programme on Rio Zarza.

Mobilization and Start of Drilling

The Hydracore 366 man-portable diamond drill has been mobilized to the project and set up on the first drill site RZDDH11-01. Drilling started on 14 May 2011 to a planned depth of approximately 200m, and should take one week to complete. Analytical results are expected within 4 to 5 weeks.

Drilling parameters

All holes will be drilled at -70 degrees to -60 degrees inclination to intersect expected sub-vertical veins and structures. Surface casing will be set through unconsolidated overburden and will remain for possible re-entry and deepening holes.

Coring will be HQ diameter (nominal 63.5mm) unless collapsing conditions exist, whereupon size will be reduced to NQ diameter (47.6mm) to total depth.

Depth of holes is planned 100 to 200m to fully penetrate the IP Chargeability anomaly.

The order of drilling holes is determined to simplify the logistics of drill moves, not in order of priority.

Sampling and Analytical Protocol

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 composited over 1m intervals from diamond saw cut half core.

Samples will be despatched 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.

Control protocols will include industry-standard insertion of control samples (blanks, internationally Certified Reference Material, and duplicates) at 10% frequency.

Deep Drilling in Misahualli-Suarez Basin

The main focus of exploration remains the Misahualli-Suarez structural basin. Following the site visit in June and recommendations of Dr Stuart Simmons, consultant expert on epithermal mineralization, targets in the deeper part of the basin will be defined for drilling immediately following the shallow drilling programme.

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 prepared the technical information included in this press release. Drilling, logging, sampling and dispatch is under the direct supervision of the Qualified Person and follows industry standard QA/QC protocols.

About Ecometals

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

VP Exploration Steve McMullan said, "After encouraging results in the 2010 programme, we are very pleased to continue the exploration on a variety of priority targets, initially to test the source of abundant locally-derived alluvial gold on the project, and leading up to the deep drilling in the structural basin."

Chief Executive Officer William Lamarque said, "The exploration team presented a compelling case based on integrated geophysics, geochemical and geological evidence for success. I would also commend their enthusiasm and dedication, and offer thanks for the hospitality in the Rio Zarza camp."

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. The company relies on litigation protection for forward-looking statements.

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

"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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