TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2011) - Rio Novo Gold Inc. (TSX:RN)(TSX:RN.WT) ("Rio Novo" or the "Company") is pleased to report assay results from the ongoing drilling program at its 100% owned Almas Gold Project, located in the State of Tocantins, Brazil.

Rio Novo has drilled 16 scout diamond drill holes totalling 3,222m into the newly acquired Vira-Saia target. The Vira-Saia target is part of the additional land package optioned by Rio Novo in April 2011, which covers a 3 km trend defined by structure, geochemistry, and old workings. The area is approximately 5 km from the planned milling facilities at Paiol.

Significant intercepts from the first 16 holes of the Vira-Saia drilling program include:

  • FVSD-0014 – 15.00m @ 2.10 g/t Au (from 100.0m to 115.0m); including 1.0m @ 12.01 g/t Au
  • FVSD-0001 – 14.60m @ 0.94 g/t Au (from 74.0m to 88.6m); including 3.10m @ 2.03 g/t Au
  • FVSD-0003 – 10.00m @ 1.86 g/t Au (from 63.0m to 73.0m); including 0.50m @ 23.75 g/t Au
  • FVSD-0004 – 2.25m @ 2.40 g/t Au (from 58.9m to 61.15m);
  • FVSD-0007 – 6.95m @ 0.72 g/t Au (from 46.0m to 52.95m);
  • FVSD-0010 – 2.00m @ 22.06 g/t Au (from 62.0m to 64.0m); including 1.0m @ 35.17 g/t Au
  • FVSD-0011 – 10.20m @ 0.45 g/t Au (from 38.25m to 48.45m); 1.55m @ 1.22 g/t Au (from 58.45m to 60.0m); 1.0m @ 1.81 g/t Au (from 85.0m to 86.0m)
  • FVSD-0016 – 9.50m @ 1.62 g/t Au (from 61.0m to 70.5m); including 1.0m @ 5.27 g/t Au

The most significant result is in FVSD-0014 with 15.0m at 2.10 g/t. This hole ties together with intercepts of FVSD-0016 (9.5m @ 1.62 g/t) and FVSD-0001 (14.6m @ 0.94 g/t), defining a zone with a northwest strike of at least 250m in length and 10-15m in thickness. The zone is cut off to the southeast by a fault, but is open to the northwest and at depth.

Also of interest are holes FVSD-0007 (6.95m @ 0.72 g/t) and FVSD-0011 (10.2m @ 0.45 g/t), from which early results suggest a parallel mineralized zone exists to the east with a strike of 200m that is open in all directions. Results from seven follow-up holes in this area are expected within the coming weeks.

A third zone, 1 km south of the main Vira-Saia target, is covered by holes FVSD-0002, 0003 and 0010. These intercepts, which include 10m @ 1.86 g/t and 2.0m @ 22.06 g/t, demonstrate the potential for a new discovery apart from the main Vira-Saia target.

Commenting on the new assay results, Brian Arkell, Rio Novo's SVP Exploration, notes: "We are getting some very encouraging results from the exploration in this area. Over the next two weeks we will be receiving results from another 12 holes. In the meantime we continue to drill with two rigs to test the system at depth and along the strike. Soil sampling is in progress to the northwest and southeast in order to guide future scout drilling."

A summary of the results received from the Vira-Saia target is provided in the table below.

Drill Hole Type From
FVSD-0001 Scout 74.00 88.60 14.60 0.94
Includes 84.95 88.05 3.10 2.03
FVSD-0003 Scout 63.00 73.00 10.00 1.86
Includes 64.50 65.00 0.50 23.75
FVSD-0004 Scout 58.90 61.15 2.25 2.40
FVSD-0005 Scout 54.00 57.00 3.00 0.84
FVSD-0007 Scout 46.00 52.95 6.95 0.72
FVSD-0010* Scout 62.00 64.00 2.00 22.06
FVSD-0011 Scout 38.25 48.45 10.20 0.45
FVSD-0014* Scout 100.00 115.00 15.00 2.10
Includes 111.00 112.00 1.00 12.01
FVSD-0016 Scout 61.00 70.50 9.50 1.62
Includes 68.50 69.50 1.00 5.27
*Note: Although no visible gold was observed in the core, the high grade results (over 10 g/t) are subject to confirmation by the metallic screen fire assay technique. SGS-Geosol, a Brazilian geochemical assaying company, is currently undertaking this work as part of Rio Novo's standard QA/QC procedures.

To view the location map and selected cross sections from the Vira-Saia target, please visit the following link:

Morro do Carneiro Target

In addition, Rio Novo has received results from 13 holes at the Morro do Carneiro target. Hole FCD-0015 intercepted significant gold mineralization approximately 250m northwest of the main zone, with several intervals of 1.0 to 4.5m in thickness and up to 1.5 g/t Au. In the southern area of the main hole, FCD-0017 intersected 11.8m @ 1.45 g/t Au, including higher grade assays of up to 11.3 g/t Au. Rio Novo plans to continue mapping, trenching, and channel sampling at this target, which covers an area of at least 600m by 250m, prior to commencing the second phase of drilling.

A summary of the results received from the Morro de Carnerio target is provided in the table below.

Drill Hole
Type From
FCD-0007 Scout 0.00 3.10 3.10 1.49
FCD-0008 Scout 43.05 47.70 4.65 0.59
FCD-0009 Scout 78.95 88.50 9.55 1.34
FCD-0009 Scout 97.55 105.85 8.30 1.48
FCD-0010 Scout 30.85 41.85 11.00 2.64
Includes 34.50 35.50 1.00 11.41
FCD-0011 Scout 0.00 4.00 4.00 0.87
FCD-0014 Scout 31.40 34.00 2.60 3.51
FCD-0015 Scout 29.00 33.45 4.45 0.63
FCD-0016 Scout 42.00 45.00 3.00 0.79
FCD-0017 Scout 85.20 97.00 11.80 1.45
Includes 91.00 91.85 0.85 11.33*
*Note: Although no visible gold was observed in the core, the high grade results (over 10 g/t) are subject to confirmation by the metallic screen fire assay technique. SGS-Geosol is currently undertaking this work as part of Rio Novo's standard QA/QC procedures.

To view the location map and selected cross sections from the Morro do Carneiro target, please visit the following link:

Sample Preparation, Analyses and Security

The assay and sample information, as well as geological descriptions, are taken from drill logs prepared by the project geologists for the drilling program. Drilling data is first validated, and then sent to the GIS-database management department at the Rio de Janeiro office.

The drill core is split on site, and one half of the core is sent to SGS-Geosol's preparation facility in the city of Goiania, in Goiás State. Prepared pulps are analyzed at SGS-Geosol's analytical facilities at Vespasiano, near Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais. High grade samples (>10 grams/tonne Au) are routinely analyzed by metallic screen fire assay, and the resulting 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. Brian Arkell, P.Geo, Senior Vice President of Exploration at Rio Novo Gold Inc., is a Qualified Person as set out in the 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, which has cash reserves of about US$52 million, is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties in Brazil and Colombia. The Company has Measured & Indicated resources of 960,000 oz. and 1,180,000 Inferred oz. of gold in Brazil and Colombia.

In June 2011, the Company started a similar initiative in Colombia with the 100% acquisition of the Toldafria property in Caldas State, in the central Cordillera. The Toldafria property has an Inferred resource of 952,000 oz. gold at a grade of 2.38 g/t as set out in a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate. At Toldafria, the Company plans to execute a systematic fall program of trenching, mapping, additional underground channel sampling, and once permitted, drilling to determine the extent of the Toldafria deposit.

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, 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.

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 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.

Contact Information:

Rio Novo Gold Inc.
David Beatty
Chief Executive Officer
+1 (416) 368-8288

Rio Novo Gold Inc.
Alex Penha
General Manager, Corporate Development
+1 (416) 509-0583