Vista Gold Corp. Announces the Following Update on Activities at Its Paredones Amarillos Project

    DENVER, Jan. 12 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. ("Vista") (TSX & NYSE-A: VGZ)
announced on September 8, 2008, the results of a bankable feasibility study
(filed with SEDAR on October 22, 2008) and provided an update on the
permitting of the Paredones Amarillos Project. As previously announced (see
press releases dated September 8 and July 2, 2008), Vista indicated that it
had decided to apply for a new Change of Land Use Permit ("CUSF"). In a press
release dated November 10, 2008, Vista indicated it was in final negotiations
to purchase the land required for the process plant and tailings impoundment
facility and had presented an application for a Temporary Occupation Permit
("TOP") for the use of the federal land which overlies the deposit. The land
purchase and TOP are necessary pre-requisites for the CUSF application. On
December 23, 2008, we reached agreement to purchase approximately 500 hectares
of land for the mill site and other infrastructure. We have not yet received
the TOP, which was expected by the end of 2008. Communications that our
advisors have had with the office of the General Director of Mines of the
Ministry of Economy (the department responsible for awarding the TOP) indicate
that the approval process is proceeding normally, but at a slower pace than
expected. Vista has already obtained the necessary environmental permit and
completed the other prerequisite studies for the submittal of the CUSF permit
application and will file that permit application as soon as the TOP is

    On December 5, 2008, Vista completed another transaction to purchase the
land for a desalination plant for the Paredones Amarillos Project. The
property is located on the Pacific Coast, 25 kilometers SW of the Paredones
Amarillos Project. The four-acre parcel of land is zoned for industrial use
and approval has been received from the Municipality of La Paz for the
installation of the desalination plant.

    Fred Earnest, President and COO of Vista, commented, "The acquisition of
the two parcels of land are important steps in the development of the project.
We are disappointed that the process to acquire the Temporary Occupation
Permit is taking longer than we had expected; however, we are using the time
to undertake other critical path programs for the development of the project."

    About Vista Gold

    Since 2001, Vista has acquired a number of gold projects with the
expectation that higher gold prices would significantly increase their value.
For more information about our projects, including technical studies and
resource estimates, please visit our website at Vista has
undertaken programs to advance the Paredones Amarillos Project, including the
completion of a definitive feasibility study and the purchase of long delivery
equipment items for use at that project. A drilling program was completed on
the Mt Todd project in 2008 and a new resource estimate is expected to be
completed early in 2009. Metallurgical studies are underway and a new
feasibility study is expected to be completed during 2009. Vista's other
holdings include the Guadalupe de los Reyes Project in Mexico, the Yellow Pine
Project in Idaho, the Awak Mas Project in Indonesia, and the Long Valley
Project in California.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934
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 timing and receipt of required land use, environmental and other
permits for the Paredones Amarillos Project; plans to confirm the validity of
the Change of Land Use Permit and to obtain the Temporary Occupation Permit
for the Paredones Amarillos Project and timing for confirmation of the status
of such permits; plans for evaluation of the Mt. Todd Project including
estimates of silver, copper and gold resources; preliminary assessment
results; results of drilling programs and prospects for exploration and
conversion of resources at the Mt. Todd Project and plans for a feasibility
study at the Mt. Todd Project; Vista's future business strategy; plans;
potential project development; Vista's potential status as a producer
including plans, timing and targeted initial production levels; and other such
matters are forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. When
used in this press release, the words "estimate", "plan", "anticipate",
"expect", "intend", "believe" 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,
risks relating to general economic conditions, delays and incurrence of
additional costs in connection with our Paredones Amarillos Project, including
uncertainty relating to timing and receipt for required governmental permits;
uncertainty relating to timing and receipt for confirmation of the validity of
the Change of Land Use Permit for the Paredones Amarillos Project, uncertainty
of feasibility study results and preliminary assessments and of estimates on
which such results are based; risks relating to delays in commencement and
completion of construction at the Paredones Amarillos Project and Mt. Todd
Project; risks of significant cost increases; risks of shortages of equipment
or supplies; risks that Vista's acquisition, exploration and property
advancement efforts will not be successful; risks relating to fluctuations in
the price of gold; the inherently hazardous nature of mining-related
activities; uncertainties concerning reserve and 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. There can be no
assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements. 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.

    For further information, please contact Connie Martinez at (720)
981-1185, or visit the Vista Gold Corp. website at


For further information:

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

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