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

Rio Novo Gold Inc.

February 08, 2012 06:00 ET

Rio Novo Gold Provides Update on Sampling Progress and Drilling Plans for March at Toldafria Project, Colombia

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 8, 2012) - Rio Novo Gold (the "Company" or "Rio Novo") (TSX:RN)(TSX:RN.WT) is pleased to provide an update on its ongoing exploration program at the Toldafria Project ("Toldafria" or "the Project"), located in the Mid-Cauca belt of Central Colombia.

Since the acquisition of the Project in June of 2011, the Company has carried out a comprehensive channel sampling of the underground workings, continuing a program started by the previous operator and employing the same methodology that was used to delineate the Project's NI 43-101 compliant resource.

To date, Rio Novo has taken 766 channel samples, and recently received assay results for 166 of these samples. Inclusive of previous work done, a total of 3,314 samples have now been taken at the project, covering some 14 km of underground workings. The recent results outline both high grade sheeted vein zones and stockworks, and have extended the area of known gold mineralization to the west and south-east. The total footprint of gold mineralization based on surface and underground sampling has thus been increased to about 650m x 700m, from a previous area measuring 550m x 500m.

Significant assay results from the newly received tunnel sampling include:

  • 32.0m averaging 15.77 g/t Au

  • 26.0m averaging 9.06 g/t Au

  • 22.0m averaging 3.11 g/t Au

  • 8.0m averaging 3.00 g/t Au

  • 18.0m averaging 5.66 g/t Au

  • 25.0m averaging 3.51 g/t Au

  • 30.0m averaging 1.09 g/t Au

Geology of the Deposit

The Toldafria deposit is hosted in folded Paleozoic schists of the Cajamarca Formation adjacent to a mid-Tertiary granodiorite intrusive. The rocks are locally altered to Argillic and Propylitic assemblages. Gold is present in stockwork and sheeted quartz-pyrite veins. A sub-vertical sheeted vein system trending N10W to N20E cross-cuts an earlier stockwork vein system. Veins range in thickness from 2 to 25 cm in the stockwork to up to 50 cm in the sheeted veins.

Sampling Methodology

Toldafria was previously mined by artisanal miners, who tunneled along the higher grade sheeted veins but did not attempt any larger-scale mining. Rio Novo's initial exploration has focused on systematic sampling of these underground workings, as well as the limited surface exposures to define the overall extent and distribution of mineralization.

Detailed mapping and structural data have been collected to model the mineralization controls. Underground channel sampling was done in continuous channels 10 cm wide by 5 cm deep. Channels were regularly spaced 1.0m to 3.0m apart and oriented perpendicular to the trend of the veins to the extent possible. Each sample contained about 60 kg of material and was homogenized and split on site. Assays were completed at the SGS Laboratories in Lima, Peru.

Sample Results

The recent assay results were taken from the following four underground tunnels: Antioquia, Ramada, Campamento, and Barranco. Please refer to the following link for a map illustrating the location of the tunnels associated with this press release: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/rionovo_thematic_map.pdf

The Antioquia tunnel follows a steeply-dipping high grade sheeted vein zone up to 2m wide trending N10E. Channel samples were taken along the vein at 2m spacing. One interval assayed 9.06 g/t Au (uncut) over 26.0m with the highest grade sample at 69.89 g/t Au. A second interval assayed 15.77 g/t Au (uncut) over 32.0m with individual assays up to 166 g/t Au. Two other intervals ran 3.11 g/t Au over 22.0m and 3.00 g/t Au over 8.0m. These results illustrate the continuity of sheeted vein zones, as well as the existence of higher-grade chutes and may reflect important structural intersections.

In the Ramada tunnel, an 18.0m sample interval averaged 5.66 g/t Au. These tunnel assays extend known mineralization in the SE part of Toldafria and further define a large area of continuous stockwork mineralization.

Samples from the Campamento tunnel averaged 3.51 g/t Au over an interval of 25.0m. In the recently re-discovered Barranco tunnel, on the west side of the deposit a 30.0m interval averaged 1.09 g/t Au. This is the western-most mineralization discovered to date and indicates mineralization remains open to the west.

Commenting on the results, Rio Novo CEO David Beatty stated: "The more than 3,300 Toldafria channel samples along 14,000m of tunnels confirm that there is high grade gold mineralization over a larger area than originally recognized. The mineralized footprint is now 650 meters by 750 meters, which is larger than we expected upon acquisition last June. We are excited by the dimensions and grade of this mineralization and look forward to drilling Toldafria in March to ascertain the three dimensional continuity of the deposit."

Future Plans For Drilling and Samples

Rio Novo plans to commence a first-pass drilling program of 3,000m at Toldafria in early March 2012. Additional channel sample results are expected within the next several weeks, and will be used to help further define the deposit prior to drilling. The award of a drilling contract for the Project is imminent. A second phase, 5,000m follow-up program is budgeted for later in the year. An updated resource estimate based on the drilling results is planned for the second half of 2012. Road and camp improvements will also be completed in mid-2012.

The Company finalized and filed an updated, 700 page Environmental Management Plan last December, and is working steadily to ensure that its operations hold all requisite permits in accordance with environmental laws. In addition, it is currently finalizing base line environmental studies, a key part of the groundwork for future permitting processes.

Qualified Person

Mr. Brian Arkell, Senior Vice President of Exploration at Rio Novo Gold Inc., is a Qualified Person, as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and verified the technical content of the information contained in this release.

About Rio Novo

Rio Novo is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties in Brazil and Colombia. The Company has Measured & Indicated resources of 961,711 oz and 1,178,016 Inferred oz of gold in Brazil and Colombia.

The Company's goal is to become a producer of gold by bringing into production its two Brazilian properties, the Almas Gold Project, located in the State of Tocantins, and the Guarantã Gold Project, located in the State of Mato Grosso. Both projects enjoy established infrastructure and main grid hydropower in mining friendly jurisdictions.

In June 2011, the Company completed the 100% acquisition of the Toldafria property in Caldas State in the central Cordillera. The Toldafria property has an Inferred resource of 952,000 ozs gold at a grade of 2.38 g/t as set out in a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate. At Toldafria, the Company executed a systematic program of trenching, mapping, underground channel sampling, and plans to begin drilling this March to determine the vertical and horizontal continuity and the extent of the Toldafria deposit.

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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