DENVER, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (TSX & NYSE MKT: VGZ) ("Vista" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Northern Territory ("NT" or the "Territory") Government has awarded its Mt. Todd gold project Major Project Status, signifying the NT Government's support for the timely and responsible development of the Mt. Todd gold project. Major Project Status is awarded by the NT Government to projects that have the potential to provide significant economic opportunities for the Territory and its citizens. Major Project Status prospectively provides a process and structure for decisions regarding matters of importance to the project to be made in an efficient and timely manner. Major Project Status is coordinated by a Cabinet-level committee and implementation is supervised by the office of the Chief Minister, thereby hopefully minimizing potential for delays in obtaining critical decisions. Frederick H. Earnest, President and CEO of Vista, stated, "I am extremely pleased with the NT Government's continued support for the redevelopment of the Mt. Todd gold project. Major Project Status is an indication of the NT Government's continued focus on the Mt. Todd gold project and commitment to regional development in the Katherine region. Areas of shared interest – whether related to the departments of Mines and Energy, Treasury, Lands and Planning or Environment – will now be handled at the highest level within the NT Government, with coordination provided by the office of the Chief Minister. This decision recognizes the significance of the project and its benefit to the future development of the Northern Territory. We look forward to our continued work with the NT Government in the development of the Mt. Todd gold project." Separately, Vista announced that it has completed and submitted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") to the Environmental Protection Agency of the NT Government ("NTEPA") for review. The NT Government has encouraged Vista to submit a Draft EIS so that it can be reviewed for completeness. Mr. Earnest commented, "The purpose of the review is to identify any possible omissions in the EIS, prior to its formal submission. The NTEPA has proposed this review as a way to identify any items that may require additional study early in the process and to avoid untimely delays later in the approval process. We anticipate submitting the final EIS later this quarter and believe that we remain on track to receive permits around the end of the year."