Vista Gold Corp. Announces 57% Increase in Measured and Indicated Gold Resource Estimates at the Mt. Todd Project Increasing Measured and Indicated Resources by 1.65 Million Ounces and Inferred Resources by 318,000 Ounces



    DENVER, Jan. 26 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. ("Vista") (TSX & NYSE-A: VGZ)
is pleased to announce that an updated gold resource estimate for the Batman
deposit at the Mt. Todd Gold Project in Northern Territory, Australia.
    

    
    The new resource estimate as presented in the following table represents
an increase in Measured Resources(1) of 78,000 ounces of gold and an increase
in Indicated Resources(1) of 1,572,000 ounces of gold resulting in a combined
increase in Measured and Indicated Resources(1) of 1,650,000 ounces of gold at
a cutoff grade of 0.50 grams per tonne (0.015 ounces of gold per ton).  The
gold resource estimate for the Batman deposit as of January 23, 2009, reported
at a cutoff grade of 0.50 grams of gold per tonne is set out below.  The
estimate was prepared using GEMCOM software and used whole block kriging to
estimate block values.
    

    



    
      Resource     Metric Average Grade  Short Tons Average Grade  Contained
    Classification Tonnes (grams/tonne)   (x1000)   (ounces/ton)  Gold Ounces
                   (x1000)                                          (x1000)
    

    
    Measured(1)    44,645     0.99         49,212      0.029         1,424
    Indicated(1)  105,936     0.92        116,773      0.027         3,121
    Measured &
    Indicated(1)  150,581     0.94        165,985      0.027         4,545
    Inferred(2)    66,725     0.86         73,551      0.025         1,849
    1. Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Measured and
       Indicated Resources: This table uses the terms "measured resources" and
       "indicated resources". We advise U.S. investors that while these terms
       are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the U.S.
Securities
       and Exchange Commission ("SEC") does not recognize them. The SEC
       normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not
       constitute "reserves" as in-place tonnage and grade without reference
to
       unit measures.  The term "contained gold ounces" used in this press
       release is not permitted under the rules of the SEC.  U.S. investors
are
       cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in
       these categories will ever be converted into reserves.
    2. Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Inferred
       Resources: This table uses the term "inferred resources". We advise
U.S.
       investors that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian
       regulations, the SEC does not recognize it. "Inferred resources" have a
       great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great
uncertainty
       as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that
       all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded
to
       a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral
       resources may not form the basis of a feasibility study or
       prefeasibility studies, except in rare cases. The SEC normally only
       permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute
       "reserves" as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit
       measures.  The term "contained gold ounces" used in this press release
       is not permitted under the rules of the SEC.  U.S. investors are
       cautioned not to assume that any part or all of an inferred resource
       exists or is economically or legally minable.

    
    Fred Earnest, President and COO of Vista, stated, "The 57% increase in
the estimated total gold resources to 6.3 million ounces resulting from the
success of the 2008 drilling program increases our understanding of the Batman
deposit.  We are optimistic that future drilling may convert a majority of the
estimated Inferred resources to Measured and Indicated and that there is
potential for additional gold resources in both the Batman extensions and in
the other targets on the Mt. Todd property. Previous pit design estimates
indicated we can expect a relatively low waste-to-ore ratio and we expect that
a newly identified mineralized zone in the hanging wall will also favorably
affect the waste-to-ore stripping ratio. We have completed preliminary
geotechnical investigations in the areas of the proposed tailings impoundment
facilities, a pit slope design study and a preliminary baseline environmental
data review.  When the metallurgical testing program is concluded, which we
expect to occur in the near future, we intend to undertake a pre-feasibility
study to determine project economics and estimate mineable reserves. We expect
gold prices to remain high, the US/Australian dollar exchange rate to remain
favorable and the improved efficiencies of high pressure grinding roll
technology on the hard Mt. Todd ore to favorably affect operating costs, all
of which we anticipate will have positive impacts on the project economics."
    

    
    The updated gold resource estimate was completed on January 23, 2009, by
Tetra Tech of Golden, Colorado, pursuant to Canadian National Instrument
43-101 ("NI 43-101").  This updated gold resource estimate was completed by or
under the supervision of Mr. John Rozelle, P.G., an independent Qualified
Person (as defined in NI 43-101), utilizing standard industry software and
resource estimation methodology.  Mr. Rozelle has reviewed and verified the
technical and scientific information contained in this press release. 
Previous technical reports contain extensive geologic and technical
information related to the deposit for which the estimate is prepared. The
last technical report was filed on SEDAR on June 4, 2008, and is entitled "Mt.
Todd Gold Project - Resource Update, Northern Territory, Australia" and is
dated May 15, 2008. The updated resource estimate incorporates the results of
7,367 assay intervals from 14 drill holes (all core holes) drilled by Vista in
2008 with sample preparation and assaying completed by ALS Chemex.  These
results are in addition to the results of 100,685 assay intervals from 755
drill holes (250 core, 435 reverse circulation and 70 rotary drill holes)
completed previously by BHP Resources Pty Ltd., Zapopan NL, Pegasus Gold
Australia Pty Ltd. and Vista, which were used in the previous updates of the
Mt. Todd resource estimate.  Vista has also completed a preliminary evaluation
of the development of the project, the results of which were announced on
January 4, 2007. For more information on these studies please refer to our
press releases dated January 4, 2007, February 27, 2008 and April 24, 2008
press releases or the full technical reports for the Mt. Todd Project.  The
press releases and full technical reports are available on Vista's website
(www.vistagold.com).  We expect to file on SEDAR a technical report for the
updated resource estimate on or about February 27, 2009.
    

    2008 Drilling Results
    
    The 2008 drilling program consisted of fourteen holes with 9,006 meters
drilled. Of the fourteen holes completed in this program, one was drilled to
obtain a sample for ongoing metallurgical testing (hole VB08-041).  Eleven
holes were drilled to intersect the untested mineralization down-dip from the
2007 drilling located within the pit shape evaluated as part of the
Preliminary Economic Assessment, the results of which were reported in Vista's
January 4, 2007 press release.  Two holes were drilled to test the continuity
of mineralization below the previously evaluated pit shape (holes VB08-039 &
-040).  The results from the first ten holes were reported previously in
Vista's press releases dated July 21, September 3, and November 12, 2008.  Due
to excessive deviation in the first 500 meters of its length, hole VB08-040
never intersected the orebody and was terminated.  A summary of the gold assay
and preliminary copper assay results of the last four holes are shown below:
    

    


    
    Drill  Interval Intercept  Gold  Copper Including  Intercept Gold  Copper
     Hole  (meters) (meters)  (grams/ (ppm)  (meters)  (meters) (grams/ (ppm)
                               tonne)                            tonne)
    

    
    VB08038 674-713    39      2.31   1427
    VB08039 188-216    28      1.22    431
            314-387    73      0.75    382   345-372      27      1.21   510
            425-574   149      1.08    659   426-447      21      1.60  1092
                                             528-567      39      1.69   763
    VB08040 Drill hole deviated from ore zone
    VB08041 6-64       58      0.87    654

    
    The drilling program began in April 2008, under the direct supervision of
Tim Tuba, Vista's Exploration Manager in Australia, and was completed in
September 2008. The core drilling was completed by Boart Longyear Australia
Pty Ltd., with the sample preparation being completed by ALS Chemex in
Adelaide, South Australia, followed by assaying for gold by ALS Chemex in
Perth, Western Australia.  A sample quality control/quality assurance program
has been implemented and check assaying is being done by Genalysis Laboratory
Services Pty Ltd. in Perth. Multi-element analyses, including copper, are
being done by ALS Chemex, also in Perth.  Sampling and assaying methods were
conducted in accordance with the CIM Mineral Exploration Best Practices
Guidelines. All samples taken were one meter in length, except the last
interval of the drill hole.  Frank K. Fenne, P.G., Vice-President of
Exploration for Vista, who is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has
reviewed the program and results and confirms that all protocols used in the
project conform to industry standards.
    

    Pre-Feasibility Study
    
    As announced in its November 12, 2008 press release, Vista awarded
TetraTech of Golden, Colorado, the contract to undertake a preliminary
feasibility study on the Mt. Todd Project.  The first stage, which includes
the updated resource estimate, metallurgical testing, rock mechanics
evaluations, and preliminary geotechnical and environmental reviews, is
nearing completion.  The rock mechanic evaluation indicates that rock at Mt.
Todd is exceptionally competent and recommends inter-ramp pit slopes of 55-60
degrees except on the east wall where an inter-ramp pit slope of 40 degrees is
advised.  The metallurgical studies are nearing completion with lab testwork
currently in progress.  The preliminary geotechnical field investigation has
been completed. The site inspection for the preliminary review of the baseline
environmental data has occurred and a draft report is in progress.
    

    About Mt. Todd
    
    The Mt. Todd Project is situated within the southeastern portion of the
Early Proterozoic Pine Creek Geosyncline. The Batman deposit geology consists
of a sequence of hornfelsed interbedded greywackes and shales with minor thin
beds of felsic tuff.  Bedding consistently strikes at 325 degrees, dipping 40
to 60 degrees to the southwest.  Northerly trending sheeted quartz sulfide
veins and joints striking at 0 to 20 degrees and dipping 60 degrees to the
east are the major location for mineralization in the Batman deposit.  The
veins are 0.04 to 4 inches in thickness with an average thickness of around
0.4 inches and occur in sheets with up to 6 veins per horizontal foot. In
general, the Batman deposit is 4,800 to 5,100 feet in length by 1,200 to 1,500
feet in true width and 1,500 to 1,800 feet in known down-dip extension (the
deposit is open along strike and at depth).
    

    
    The deposit has a drill hole spacing that varies from 80 feet by 80 feet
to 260-330 feet by 260-330 feet and generally averages 160 feet by 160 feet.
All assaying was by fire assay on 50-gram charges with atomic absorption
("AA") finish. Tetra Tech has advised Vista that quality control and quality
assurance methods employed by the various companies working at Mt. Todd were
standard at the time of the work.  According to Tetra Tech, quality control
and quality assurance methods for previous drilling programs has been audited
several times by independent consultants.
    

    
    The 2008 drilling program consisted of 14 core holes which resulted in a
total of 7,367 assay intervals.  In June, 2008, Mr. Rozelle audited the
quality control and quality assurance methods implemented by Vista.  Core was
logged and cut under the direction of Vista's geologists and half-core
segments were sent to independent labs in Adelaide (ALS Chemex) and Perth
(ALS-Chemex) for sample preparation and fire assay analysis/AA analysis.  
Both labs prepared and analyzed a statistically significant number of
duplicate samples.  In addition to submitting commercially acquired blanks and
standards, Vista submitted pulps for re-analysis to the opposing lab.
    

    
    Earlier this year Vista completed preliminary tests using high pressure
grinding rolls and the results indicated a reduction in crushing and grinding
requirements compared to conventional technologies of approximately 30%.  This
was announced in Vista's press release dated November 10, 2008.
    

    
    In addition to the Mining Licenses which contain the Batman deposit,
Vista also holds a large exploration land package to the north and east of the
Batman deposit.
    

    About Vista Gold Corp.
    
    Since 2001, Vista has acquired a number of gold projects with the
expectation that higher gold prices would significantly increase their value.
Vista has undertaken programs to advance the Paredones Amarillos Project,
located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, including a definitive feasibility
study, the purchase of long delivery equipment items, and the purchase of land
for the processing facilities, related infrastructure and the desalination
plant. The results of a preliminary assessment completed in 2007 on the Mt.
Todd Project in Australia were encouraging and Vista has subsequently
undertaken other studies to advance the project. Vista's other holdings
include the Guadalupe de los Reyes Project in Mexico, Yellow Pine Project in
Idaho, Awak Mas Project in Indonesia, and the Long Valley Project in
California.
    

    
    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and U.S. Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended, and forward-looking information within the meaning of
Canadian securities laws.  All statements, other than statements of historical
facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or
developments that Vista expects or anticipates will or may occur in the
future, including such things as the conversion of inferred resources to
measured and indicated resources, the potential for gold resources in the
Batman deposit and other targets within the Mt. Todd project, the waste-to-ore
ratio at Mt. Todd, the successful completion of a metallurgical testing
program at Mt. Todd, the beginning of a Mt. Todd pre-feasibility study, future
gold prices, future U.S.-to-Australian dollar exchange rates, the improved
efficiencies of high pressure grinding roll technology, favorable effects of
Mt. Todd project economics and Vista's ability to add value in a
cost-effective manner and other such matters are forward-looking statements
and forward-looking information.  When used in this press release, the words
"optimistic", "potential", "indicate", "expect", "intend", "hopes," "believe,"
"may," "will," "if" and similar expressions are intended to identify
forward-looking statements and forward-looking information.  These statements
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may
cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Vista to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such statements.  Such factors include, among others,
uncertainty of resource estimate results estimates on which such results are
based; risks relating to completing metallurgical testing and scheduling for
pre-feasibility studies; risks relating to cost increases for capital and
operating costs including cost of power; risks relating to delays at the Mt.
Todd Project; risks of shortages of equipment or supplies; risks relating to
fluctuations in the price of gold; the inherently hazardous nature of
mining-related activities; uncertainties concerning resource estimates;
potential effects on Vista's operations of environmental regulations in the
countries in which it operates; risks due to legal proceedings; risks relating
to political and economic instability in certain countries in which it
operates; risks related to repayment of debt; risks related to increased
leverage and uncertainty of being able to raise capital on favorable terms or
at all; as well as those factors discussed in Vista's latest Annual Report on
Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other documents filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities commissions. 
Although Vista has attempted to identify important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking
statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that
cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.  Except as
required by law, Vista assumes no obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statements or forward-looking information; whether as a result
of new information, future events or otherwise.
    

    
    Without limiting the foregoing, this press release uses terms that comply
with reporting standards in Canada and certain estimates are made in
accordance with NI 43-101 of the Canadian. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by
the Canadian Securities Administrators that establishes standards for all
public disclosures an issuer makes of scientific and technical information
concerning mineral projects.  All mineral resource estimates contained in this
press release, including the terms "measured mineral resources," "indicated
mineral resources" and "inferred mineral resources", have been prepared in
accordance with NI 43-101, and these standards differ significantly from the
requirements of the SEC.  The resource information contained in this press
release is not comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies.
    

    
    For further information, please contact Connie Martinez at (720)
981-1185, or visit the Vista Gold Corp. website at http://www.vistagold.com
    





    




For further information:

For further information: Connie Martinez of Vista Gold Corp.,
+1-720-981-1185 Web Site: http://www.vistagold.com


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