Esperanza Silver Corporation
TSX VENTURE : EPZ

Esperanza Silver Corporation

December 18, 2006 16:13 ET

Esperanza Begins Phase 3 Drilling at Cerro Jumil Gold Property

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 18, 2006) - Esperanza Silver Corporation ("Esperanza" or "the Company") (TSX VENTURE:EPZ) is pleased to announce that Phase 3 drilling has begun at its wholly-owned Cerro Jumil gold project in Morelos State, Mexico. A diamond core rig arrived on site in the last week of November and a second reverse-circulation drill rig is now being mobilized.

During 2005 and earlier in 2006 the Company completed 31 diamond-drill holes for a total of 4,850 meters. This drilling defined two major areas of gold mineralization, the West and Southeast zones, which extend for 350 meters and 600 meters, respectively, and to a depth of 200 meters. Both zones are open along their northern and southern extensions and at depth.

The planned Phase 3 program consists of drilling along the West and Southeast zone extensions combined with in-fill drilling in the mineralized sections. The program is budgeted at $1.5 million and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2007. Cerro Jumil is a potential bulk-tonnage heap-leach gold project where preliminary metallurgical test work has indicated good gold recovery in bottle-roll tests. As part of the current program, material will be collected from core holes for column heap-leach recovery tests(i).

Completes Transaction

In related news, Esperanza announces that it has finalized the previously disclosed agreement (October 2, 2006) to complete the acquisition of the Cerro Jumil mineral concessions from Recursos Cruz del Sur S.A. All regulatory approvals have been received and the title to the concessions has been registered in Esperanza's name. The Company has completed the payment of $CDN 417,375 and the issuance of 500,000 shares.

About Esperanza

Esperanza is an exploration company focused on precious metals and is founded on the experience and success of its management and field teams in discovering orebodies. Its properties include the San Luis joint venture high-grade gold and silver discovery in central Peru, currently 45% owned, and the 100% owned Cerro Jumil bulk tonnage gold project in Morelos State, Mexico. It has other exploration interests in Peru, Mexico and Bolivia. The Company's objective is to take properties up to the resource definition stage and then find partners to take them into production.

Safe Harbor

Some statements in this release are forward-looking in nature. The United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for certain forward-looking statements. Such statements include statements as to the potential of the Cerro Jumil property, the ability to finance further exploration, to permit drilling and other exploration work, and the availability of drill rigs. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including those relating to exploration and bringing properties into production. Please refer to a discussion of some of these and other risk factors in the Company's Form 20F filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this document constitute managements' current estimates as of the date of this release with respect to the matters covered herein. Esperanza expects that these forward-looking statements will change as new information is received and that actual results will vary, possibly in material ways. While Esperanza may elect to update these forward-looking statements at any time, the company does not undertake to do so.

(i) William Bond, M.Sc., Geol. and Vice President of Exploration, Esperanza Silver Corp. is the Qualified Person (QP) under NI 43-101 responsible for the Cerro Jumil exploration program. He has verified the data disclosed in this news release, including sampling, analytical and test data. Field work has been conducted under his supervision. All samples were submitted to ALS Chemex laboratories in Vancouver, Canada for analysis. Gold samples were analyzed by fire assay and atomic absorbtion spectroscopy with a 30 g nominal sample weight. A description of quality control and quality assurance protocols can be found at http://www.esperanzasilver.com/s/QA-QC-Protocols.asp.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

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