VANCOUVER, March 3 /PRNewswire/ - Riva Gold Corporation (TSX-V: RIV) ("Riva" or "the Company") announces that it has commenced a diamond drill program on its Nine Mile Property ("Nine Mile"), a trenching/mapping program on its Honey Camp Property ("Honey Camp") and airborne geophysics on both its Nine Mile and Honey Camp Properties (together the "Properties") located in Guyana. "We are excited about initiating an extensive exploration program at our Nine Mile and Honey Camp Properties," said Richard Warke, Riva's chairman and CEO. "We will be focusing our exploration efforts on these Properties as we believe that they demonstrate high grade potential. We will take a staged approach toward our exploration programs on these Properties, whereby each step is subject to the results of previous steps." Nine Mile Diamond Drill Program Diamond drilling has begun at Nine Mile with one drill rig on site. The initial drill program consists of ten to fourteen drill holes targeting the area of the historic open pit mine. Drilling will be focused on investigating multiple veining in at least four vein orientations recognized from mapping of the upper pit walls. The historic open pit is currently being drained of water to map and sample the pit walls and in order to provide future drill locations. The water level in the pit has been lowered by six metres after one month of continuous pumping and it is estimated that the old mining face will be exposed after one more month of pumping allowing access to the main ore zone, which was mined by the Pereira family. Surface sampling and mapping continues in the area surrounding the historic pit to determine vein orientations and frequency of veining in order to develop additional drill targets. Assay results from grab samples taken from quartz vein orientations previously mined by the Pereira family are demonstrating high grades, ranging from 2.20 grams per tonne gold to 41.99 grams per tonne gold, with ten assays averaging 14.80 grams per tonne gold. Samples taken from other quartz vein orientations so far have assayed 2.09 grams per tonne gold or less. Other samples have assayed positive for gold with no observable quartz veining. The samples were delivered to the preparation lab of Activation Laboratories Ltd. ("Act Labs") in Georgetown, Guyana. The prepared pulps for fire assay were shipped to Act Labs' facility in Tumeremo, Venezuela where a standard fire assay with AA finish was completed on 30 grams of prepared pulp. Personnel and equipment including the diamond drill, bulldozer and excavator have been mobilized from Georgetown over the last month to the existing 100 person mine camp at Nine Mile. The camp will serve as the base of exploration operations for the Nine Mile and Honey Camp exploration programs and has been rehabilitated over the last month. Riva expects to conclude shortly an agreement for a reverse circulation drill to work on the Properties. The drill is planned to be on site and commence in April and will augment the current diamond drill program.