Rio Novo Gold Inc.
TSX : RN
TSX : RN.WT

Rio Novo Gold Inc.

January 17, 2011 04:00 ET

Rio Novo Gold Announces Results for First Two Drill Holes at the Guaranta Ridge Target

Assay Results Confirm Polymetallic Mineralization with Au, Ag, Pb and Zn

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) - Rio Novo Gold Inc. (TSX:RN)(TSX:RN.WT) ("Rio Novo" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the results from the first two holes on the Guarantã Ridge target at its 100%-owned Guarantã Gold Project, located near the city of Guarantã do Norte, Mato Grosso State, Brazil.

The results of the diamond drill holes FGRD-0002 and FGRD-0003, located in the western end of the Guarantã Ridge Target, showed significant values for Au, Ag, Zn and Pb indicating a region of high prospectivity in a mineralized trend of 6.0 km of EW strike. The area, which was the subject of a detailed geological mapping program in 2010, is underlain by intermediate volcaniclastic rocks with disseminated sulphides, cut by breccias rich in pyrite, galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite.

The sulphide zones are marked by high chargeability anomalies along the whole trend as observed in the IP-Resistivity (pole-dipole array) geophysical program conducted in 2010. The IP geophysical survey covered 3.9 km of the 6.0 km potentially mineralized trend, and the sections obtained show the continuity of chargeability anomalies (see 3D chargeability cross section). The assay results from the first two drill holes also highlighted the polymetallic characteristics of this target.

The following continuously mineralized intervals were encountered (without the imposition of a gold cut-off grade):

Drill Hole From
(metres)
To
(metres)
Interval
(metres)
Au
(g/t)
Ag
(g/t)
Cu
(%)
Pb
(%)
Zn
(%)
FGRD-0002 34.00 53.73 19.73 0.75 30 0.10 0.29 1.46
  Includes 34.70 36.00 1.30 0.26 39 0.09 0.29 11.74
FGRD-0002 82.00 86.75 4.75 0.41 23 0.07 1.49 1.45
FGRD-0002 83.00 87.75 4.75 0.42 28 0.07 1.46 1.42
FGRD-0003 119.40 143.65 24.25 0.24 14 0.045 0.19 0.45
  Includes 123.20 131.80 8.60 0.59 30 0.10 0.49 1.09
FGRD-0003 172.90 206.62 33.72 0.11 12 0.047 0.56 0.93
  Includes 186.73 197.62 10.89 0.28 26 0.12 1.55 2.40

Rio Novo is in the process of determining the most appropriate cut off methodology to be used in reporting results in the future.

The diamond drill holes reported above were drilled in an accessible area near the highway BR 163 from which point the access road to the ridge is being constructed towards the east. The chargeability at the drilled area is relatively weak when compared with other areas along strike to the east which will be tested as the drill program progresses eastwards.

To view the geological map, cross section and 3D chargeability cross section associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/rn0117.pdf

Exploration Plans 2011

An extensive exploration program for Guarantã Ridge has been planned to be completed in 2011. This includes 10,000 metres of drilling to assess the already identified IP anomalies along the 6.0 km trend, initially utilizing a 200m x 50m grid. In areas where results warrant infill drilling will be carried out on a 25m x 25m grid pattern. Two drilling rigs are now mobilized to site and drilling is continuing toward the zones of stronger chargeability signatures.

An exploration program has also been planned to the Eastern Extension of the Guarantã Ridge target, which is an area that extents 14 km eastward with the same type of geological environment as the 6.0 km trend already identified. This area was mapped on a regional scale in 2010 revealing lithologies such as pyrite rich tuff and breccias. The extension is to be mapped, sampled by trenching and subjected to an IP resistivity survey during 2011.

Sample Preparation, Analyses and Security

The assay and sample information as well as geological descriptions are taken from drill logs as prepared by the project geologists for the drilling program. Drilling data is validated and consolidated in a GIS-database managed by the Rio de Janeiro office.

Drill core is split on site with one half of the core being sent to SGS-Geosol's sample preparation facility in the city of Goiania in Goiás Prepared pulps are analyzed at SGS-Geosol's analytical facilities at Vespasiano near Belo Horizonte, in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. High grade gold samples are routinely analyzed by metallic screen fire assay and that number is used as the accepted value. SGS-Geosol warrants the "chain of custody" of the samples in accordance with the standards required by Canadian NI 43-101.

Qualified Person

Mr Ronald Simpson, P.Geo, who is a Qualified Person as set out in Canadian National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and verified the technical content of the information contained in this release.

About Rio Novo

Rio Novo is currently focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold mineral resource properties in Brazil. The Company's goal is to become a producer of gold in the short term by bringing into production its two Brazilian properties, the Almas Gold Project, located in the State of Tocantins State, and the Guarantã Gold Project, located in the State of Mato Grosso. Both projects enjoy established infrastructure in mining friendly jurisdictions. In addition to exploring and developing the Almas and the Guarantã Gold Projects, the Company intends to identify, explore and develop or acquire additional precious metals properties in Brazil and other established mineral jurisdictions in South America.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral reserves) are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identifiable by the use of words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", may", "could", "would", "might" or "will", "estimates", "expect", "intend", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts" and similar expressions or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, without limitation, failure to establish estimated mineral resources, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, the price of gold and other risks identified in the Company's most recent annual information form filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities on SEDAR.com. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

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