Ecometals Limited

Ecometals Limited

April 14, 2010 12:45 ET

Ecometals Announces Drilling Update on Third and Fourth Holes, Rio Zarza Gold Project, Ecuador

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) - Ecometals Limited (TSX VENTURE:EC)(BERLIN:GDQ)(FRANKFURT:GDQ) -

Analytical results from the third drill hole RZDDH10-04 on the Rio Zarza gold project in Ecuador indicate geochemically anomalous but uneconomic levels of gold and associated elements. The fourth hole RZDDH10-04 has been completed and fulfilled the key geological objectives with the exception of a fault structure contemporaneous with the basin infill. The important points are summarised below, with a full report with diagrams provided on the Company website (

  • ALS Chemex analytical results from diamond drill hole RZDDH10-04 indicate gold and silver grades that are only geochemically anomalous but with a suite of indicator elements characteristic of hydrothermal mineralizing processes
  • Holes RZDDH10-04 and -02 define the western margin of the pull-apart volcano-sedimentary basin as a major structural zone which formed early in the basin evolution
  • Assays and visual results show that the elevation range of 1050 to 1250m consistently brackets a zone of hydrothermal alteration, silicification and sulphides, which is the same range as the bulk of mineralization at Fruta del Norte
  • Targeting, based on a requirement to have Misahuallí Fm, capped by Suarez Fm within the defined elevation range and with a major structure to act as a mineralizing fluid conduit, continues to be supported by recent results, and the next hole is sited where we believe all these factors coincide.

Summary Geology Hole RZDDH10-04 (third hole)

  • Hole was planned to intersect the major structural zone and alteration intersected in hole RZDDH10-02 at a higher angle to the plane of the structure to determine true width
  • The hole intersected colluvial blocks of Hollín Fm to 41m, followed by Suarez Fm to 320m, and then to 360m is a distinctive calcareous mudstone unit with primary sulphides. The end of the hole intersected Zamora Batholith granodiorite and was terminated at 435m.
  • Silicification, alteration and disseminated and veinlet sulphides were intersected from 190 to 360m depth (1250 to 1090masl), in the same elevation range as the bulk of mineralization at Fruta del Norte
  • Haematite alteration above the sub-Suarez unconformity and magnetite below the unconformity in the Zamora Batholith granodiorite appear to be indicative of hydrothermal activity
  • Gold is geochemically anomalous (up to 30ppb) and silver (up to 200ppb) in the Suarez Fm conglomerate correlating to the alteration zone from 190 to 360m depth

This hole, with RZDDH10-02, defines the western margin of the structural pull-apart basin. The absence of Misahuallí Fm volcanics at the bottom of the hole indicates the basin dips to the south, causing a thicker sequence of Suarez Fm sediments. The sulphides and alteration again occur between 1050 to 1250m elevation, which suggests the main mineralizing event occurred at a particular time in the basin evolution. Although the structural zone is a major feature, it occurred earlier in the basin formation and was apparently, based on the assay results, not the locus of gold mineralizing hydrothermal fluids.

Anomalous Au and Ag indicate a disseminated mineralized zone reflecting the original porosity of the Suarez Fm. It is thought this mineralization would reach economic grades in less porous host rocks where hydrothermal fluids are concentrated in brittle fractures.

Summary Geology Hole RZDDH10-01 (fourth hole)

  • The hole intersected Hollín Fm clastic sediments to 34m, followed by Suarez Fm to 299m, and then Misahuallí Fm to EOH at 450.75m, the unconformity is interlayered sediments and volcanics
  • Brecciation, fault gouge and late brittle faulting affects the Suarez and Misahuallí formations, but appears to be later than the mineralization
  • Alteration, silicification and sulphides in the elevation range of 1250 to 1050masl was intersected
  • Clasts of hydrothermal quartz in Suarez Fm conglomerate indicate proximity to mineralizing centre
  • Silicification at base of Fruta Andesite and haematite alteration at base of Suarez Fm above unconformity with Misahuallí is evidence of hydrothermal activity

This hole has all the major factors considered important for mineralization, including alteration, sulphides, and is within the elevation range which includes other mineralized intersections. However, faulting and brecciation appear to be minor and post-date mineralization.

Geological Factors Controlling Gold Mineralization
The following are believed to be key factors required to generate economic mineralization at Rio Zarza:

  • Misahuallí Fm host rock – acts as brittle host conducive to formation of vein-type mineralization and possible geochemically reactive rock
  • Sub-Suarez Fm unconformity with Misahuallí Fm – zone of mixing of hydrothermal with basin and meteoric waters, and contrast in porosity and rheology
  • Elevation depth range – all indications of mineralization (alteration, sulphides, silicification) intersected thus far, and bulk of FdN mineralization is within the 1050 to 1250masl elevation range, which suggests both main mineralizing event is time-restricted, and occurred at a specific time in the basin evolution
  • Major structure contemporaneous with basin formation as a conduit for hydrothermal mineralizing fluids

By analogy to Fruta del Norte and results of previous drilling at Rio Zarza, where these factors are coincident is the locus of high grade vein-type epithermal gold mineralization.

Next Drill Hole Location (fifth hole)

The next drill hole considers all the factors controlling mineralization learned from the previous drill holes, and displayed by RZDDH10-01,and in addition is planned to intersect an interpreted fault zone which offsets the Hollín and Suarez Formations, and a strong IP anomaly in the hanging wall of the fault which indicates concentration of sulphide mineralization within the mineralized elevation range.

Sample Preparation, Analytical Protocol and Quality Control

Samples were taken from half core split with a diamond saw, and composited over 5m intervals in the Hollin Fm and 2m in the Suarez Fm. Composite samples were crushed to 70% passing 2mm and riffle split 250g subsample for pulverizing to 85% passing 75µm for analysis.

Samples were prepared at the ALS Chemex sample preparation laboratory in Quito, and analysed at the ALS Chemex South American regional laboratory in Lima, Peru. Gold was assayed using the fire assay technique, and multi element analysis using ICP-MS.

Control samples are included in each batch of 100 samples, including 6 Certified Reference Material (CRM), 5 field duplicates prepared from quartered split core, and 4 blanks. CRM and blank material is internationally certified and supplied by Ore Research and Exploration (Pty) Limited (OREAS) in Australia.

Quality control results indicate there is no apparent analytical bias or systematic contamination of samples, and analyses are accurate compared to CRM stated performance criteria.

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 were under the direct supervision of the Qualified Person.

Chief Executive Officer Fran Scola said, "These initial holes at Rio Zarza have added substantially to our understanding of this exploration project. We believe the indications of significant mineralization at Rio Zarza remain encouraging, thus we will continue exploration on the project."

About Ecometals

Ecometals Limited is a Canadian-listed mineral exploration and development company focused on the mineral resources in Latin America. Apart from Ecuador, Ecometals also has significant manganese, iron and gold projects in Brazil at grass roots exploration 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. The company relies on litigation protection for forward-looking statements.

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