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Ecometals Limited: Exploration Summary 2011 and Plans for 2012, Rio Zarza Gold Project, Ecuador

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 13, 2012) - Ecometals Limited (TSX VENTURE:EC)(BERLIN:GDQ)(FRANKFURT:GDQ) -

Ecometals Limited is pleased to announce the summary of 2011 results and plans for continuation of exploration activities on the Rio Zarza Gold Project in southern Ecuador.

Drilling Highlights

The 2011 drilling campaign on the Rio Zarza Gold Project comprised 4490.4m in 9 holes collared and completed to target depth.

The main conclusions that can be drawn from the drilling are as follows:


-- the structure of the basin is complex, and includes pre- and post-

mineralization structures and episodic influx of sediments and volcanics

-- multiple phases of various alteration assemblages of different affinity,

including early pervasive hot porphyry-related, early basin hot

Misahualli? related, retrograde? Epithermal (FdN), and late hot vein

type Fruta Andesite? related

-- intersection of epithermal banded/colloform quartz clasts in Suarez Fm

conglomerate, especially in RZDDH11-07, indicates proximity to an eroded

hydrothermal vein system. Clasts are restricted to the Lower Suarez Fm

which is defined by increasing volcanic coonent of the sediments and

higher calcic alteration. This is one factor that led to the original

discovery of Fruta del Norte by Aurelain

-- the most significant geological result from the 2011 drilling campaign

is considered to be the intersection of epithermal veins and anomalous

geochemistry in RZDDH11-04 in the FdN offset target area

-- the conceptual model has advanced, including haematite as a palaeo-

surface/groundwater indicator, main mineralization event occurring from

1050 to 1250masl, and mineral paragenesis


Results of the drilling continue to be encouraging for discovery of epithermal type gold mineralization analogous to the adjacent Fruta del Norte deposit operated by Kinross.

Stuart Simmons Project Visits

Dr. Stuart Simmons, an expert consultant in epithermal mineralizing systems and geothermal resources, visited the Rio Zarza project in June and November 2011 for an independent validation of the exploration programme and advice on drill targeting. The main points from recommendations by Dr Simmons are as follows:


-- hydrothermal alteration is widespread, and affects all rocks of the

Fruta Andesite, Suarez Formation, Misahualli Formation and Zamora

Batholith granodiorite, and is dominated by pervasive occurrence of

albite, chlorite, calcite, illite, quartz, and epidote

-- the pervasive alteration assemblage suggests an early hot hydrothermal

event possibly related to quartz feldspar porphyritic apophyses of the

Zamora Batholith, but evidence of overprinted epithermal mineralization

indicates multi phase hydrothermal activity localised in structural

upflow zones, as evidenced by vein adularia in RZDDH10-01 @ 319.3m

-- the early alteration assemblage does not provide a clear vector to

mineralization due to its pervasive nature, and the evidence of

epithermal type mineralisation although encouraging is of local

occurrence in the relatively sparse drilling to date

-- the northeast and southeast parts of the project remain prospective

given the proximity to Fruta del Norte and the relatively small volumes

of rock required to constitute a substantial epithermal gold-silver

resource. The Zamora Batholith, Suarez Formation, and the Misahualli

Formation, all remain prospective hosts for mineralization

-- identification of epithermal calcite-quartz textures in vein structures

hosted in Zamora granodiorite in RZDDH11-04 is a major finding,

validating the potential of this rock-type to host gold-silver veins,

throughout the project, including the central and western areas. Follow

up drilling to intersect the same structures in 11-04 at shallower level

should be done to test for precious metal mineralization and continuity

of the structures

-- The Rio Zarza project remains highly prospective for epithermal-style

gold-silver mineralization. The northeast quadrant is a high priority

for further drill testing. The absence of significant precious metal

intercepts in recent drilling in the southeast sector, however, is

diminishing the potential for discovery of shallow epithermal

mineralization hosted in the Upper Suarez formation, but the potential

for mineralization in deep down faulted blocks remains strong, even

though it is difficult to target.


Geological Open House

From 7 to 9 December, Ecometals hosted a Geological Open House at the Rio Zarza camp. Representatives from Kinross, Ecuacorrientes and Cornerstone attended, with presentations by the Ecometals technical staff on:


-- History of exploration and alluvial gold production at the Rio Zarza

Gold Project

-- Lithostratigraphy

-- Conceptual exploration model

-- Alluvial gold provenance using SEM grain morphology and Microprobe


-- Regional tectonics and formation of pull-apart structural basins using

analogue shear table models

-- 3D Modelling of geology, geophysics and geochemistry with targeting

parameter matrix

-- Environmental planning and controls

-- Community relations programme in project impact area

-- Core examination RZDDH10-03A and RZDDH11-04 and other significant


-- Visit to RZDDH11-09 drilling and Pintado occurrence outcrops with

quartz-chlorite-sulphide veins, derived alluvial Au, and epithermal

quartz float


The Open House meetings consolidated thinking on the various aspects of the project and provided an opportunity to share ideas with peers in Ecuador and showcase the Ecometals operations. Much of the material presented will form the basis for updated content on the Company Web site and other presentations.

Plans for 2012 Exploration Programme

The exploration programme for 2012 includes the following main tasks and objectives:


-- Compilation of 2011 results pending receipt of geochemistry, XRD and

petrography, and other research studies in progress

-- Update of exploration conceptual model to refine deep basin drilling


-- Continuation of drilling in the Misahualli-Suarez basin anticipated to

start March 2012


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.

Chief Executive Officer William Lamarque said, "Our fundamental exploration philosophy is that well executed programmes with incremental technical successes will ultimately lead to economic success, and we believe the results thus far remain encouraging and directed towards the ultimate goal.

"One additional comment I would like to make is the exceptional environmental and safety record working in a remote and hazardous environment, for which the Exploration Team is commended by the Board of Directors."

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.

"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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