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Mariana Exploration Update


Mariana Exploration Update

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- Mariana Resources Ltd. (TSX:MRY)(AIM:MARL) ('Mariana' or 'the Company'), the AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company focused in Peru and southern Argentina is pleased to announce an update of exploration activities.

Overview


 
--  Mariana's earn-in to 51% in Condor Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CN)
    Condor de Oro porphyry gold-silver-copper project, N Peru is proceeding
    according to plan with Community support being re-confirmed at meetings
    last Quarter. 
    
--  Condor has granted Mariana a 90-day extension to assess the Yuracyacu
    area, adjacent to the Pucayacu option area, the two options covering the
    Condor de Oro project. 
    
--  At the Los Cisnes Project, Santa Cruz, Argentina, channel sampling at
    the El Brio prospect has returned high grade silver assays from six
    channels across vein-breccias. 
    
--  A strategic review of advanced Santa Cruz projects in progress with
    outcomes likely to include joint ventures and/or asset sales. Major
    shareholder Anglo Gold Ashanti has a First Right of Refusal. 
    
--  In Chile, late December 2012 Cliffs bought out Mariana's residual 20.6%
    interest in SCM Tierra Noble for US$250,000 cash following disappointing
    drill results at Buenaventura.

Commentating today, Chairman John Horsburgh said, "The year has started with further progress in implementing the Company's diversification of exploration efforts into Peru, specifically the Condor de Oro gold-copper porphyry target. Rationalisation of non-core projects elsewhere, paves the way for sharper focus at the new Los Cisnes Project with on-going target definition, in Argentina."

Condor de Oro Project (option to earn 51% Area 1)

As part of its strategy to diversify its exploration effort in South America, Mariana previously elected to proceed with an option granted by Condor Resources over Area 1 of the Condor de Oro Project (Figures 1 and 2, see link below), comprising the 4km2 Pucayacu target. Mariana can earn a 51% interest in Area 1 with cash and work commitments of US$15 million over 4 years. Subject to final approvals, drilling is anticipated during the first half 2013.

Meetings were held last Quarter with Community leaders to introduce the Company as the new Project operator. Full support for the project was re-confirmed under an original 5-year access agreement. This agreement is mid-term and enables Mariana to conduct initial exploration, including drilling, with maximum environmental responsibility, social inclusion and participation at all times.

Mariana also had an exclusive right to option Area 2 (Yuracyacu) under the same terms. It is a precious and base metals target in the northeast of the Project. Approximately 230 rock and soil samples plus 4 stream sediment samples were collected as part of the minimum commitment. High grade results include 3.8% Cu, 9.4% Pb and 14.3% Zn, from generally narrow breccia-hosted vein related structures. The best stream sediment gold anomaly came from a catchment area in the NW sector not sampled previously. In order to follow-up on this target and more fully assess the results, Condor Resources has granted Mariana a 90-day extension to the exclusivity period for Yuracyacu which will now expire March 31, 2013.

Argentina - Los Cisnes Project (100%)

At Los Cisnes, located 75km SW of Yamana's Cerro Moro and 120km SSE of Las Calandrias (see Figures 3 and 4), prospective mineralised dome breccias and related high grade vein-breccias have been discovered in a classic rhyolite domefield epithermal setting. Target definition work involving prospecting/mapping, channel sampling and LAG sampling is in progress, with seven prospects identified to date.

At the El Brio prospect, mapping extended the vein trend to 1km. High-grade silver assays were returned from channel sampling over a strike length of about 100m. Of the 9 diamond saw cut channels, 5 returned high grade to anomalous silver.

Highlights


 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLCs5                     4.4m @ 0.6 g/t Au 535 g/t Ag (13.3 g/t AuEq(i))   
Incl.                     1.8m @ 0.8 g/t Au 1117 g/t Ag (19.4 g/t AuEq)     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLCs6                     0.5m @ 4.0 g/t Au 1255 g/t Ag (24.9 g/t AuEq)     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLCs7                     2.6m @ 0.7 g/t Au 400 g/t Ag (7.4 g/t AuEq)       
Incl                      0.9m @ 2.0 g/t Au 1104 g/t Ag (20.4 g/t AuEq)     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLCs8                     1.9m @ 0.3 g/t Au 198 g/t Ag (3.6 g/t AuEq)       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLCs9                     0.9m @ 0.8 g/t Au 994 g/t Ag (17.4 g/t AuEq)      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Target definition will be completed this field season leading to follow-up trenching and IP to generate possible targets for scout drilling (subject to the permitting and access agreements) next field season (Q4 2013/Q1 2014).

Following a review of results to date at the El Aguila project (option to acquire 100%), the potential for bulk tonnage rhyolite-hosted mineralisation was down-graded. It was decided to withdraw from the option with Winki SA to enable a more focused effort at 100% owned Los Cisnes.

Chile - SCM Tierra Noble (20.6%)

Last month, SCM Tierra Noble completed a 4,000m RC drilling programmme at the Buenaventura Project. The holes tested various targets NE of Loma Negra, W and NW of Cerro Brecha, W of Cerro Amada and SW of Bertha Mine. No significant mineralisation was encountered in this drilling. In late December 2012, agreement was reached between Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Chile Limitada, an affiliate of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF)(PARIS:CLF), and Mariana, whereby Cliffs has bought out Mariana's residual 20.6% interest in SCM Tierra Noble for US$250,000 cash. Mariana has been diluting its shareholding in Tierra Noble since Q3 2011, and pursued this course of action in view of results received in last drill programme.

Link to figures: http://marianaresources.com/pdf/release/Mariana_130131.pdf

Exploration Information

(i) Gold equivalent (AuEq) grade has been calculated by dividing silver assays by 60 and adding to the gold value and this assumes 100% recovery.

Exploration information in this announcement has been compiled by John Horsburgh who is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Horsburgh has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and types of gold and base metal deposits under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code. Mr Horsburgh is a qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101, Canada.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control

All technical information for the Company's Peru projects is obtained and reported under a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program. All samples are collected under the supervision of the Company geologists and dispatched via commercial transport to ALS Chemex Laboratories in Lima, Peru for sample preparation and analytical procedures. Samples are fire assayed with AAS finish on a 50 g assay charge. Additionally, all samples are analyzed by a 35 element aqua regia ICP-AES method plus trace mercury detection by cold vapour-AAS methods. ALS Chemex's quality control system complies with International Standards ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 17025. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples. As part of Mariana's Quality Control and Quality Assurance program, certified reference materials, field duplicates and blank samples are inserted continuously into the sample stream

All technical information for the Company's Argentina projects is obtained and reported under a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program. All samples are collected under the supervision of the Company geologists and dispatched via commercial transport to ALS Chemex laboratories in Mendoza, Argentina, and assayed in Santiago de Chile. ALS Chemex's quality system complies with the requirements for the International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025: 1999. Samples returning greater than 10 g/t gold and/or greater than 100 g/t silver are assayed using gravimetric analyses. Systematic assaying of sample duplicates and commercially prepared standards and blanks is performed for analytical reliability.

For further information please visit website at www.marianaresources.com.

About Mariana Resources

Mariana Resources Ltd is an AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company with an extensive portfolio of gold, silver and copper projects in South America. In Peru, Mariana has an option to earn a 51% interest in highly prospective copper-gold and copper-silver porphyry targets in the Cordillera del Condor of northern Peru.

In southern Argentina, the Company's core gold-silver projects are Las Calandrias (100%), Sierra Blanca (100%), Los Amigos JV (30%) and -Picadero (100%). These projects are part of a 200,000+ Ha land package in the Deseado Massif epithermal gold-silver district in mining-friendly Santa Cruz Province. On 19 December 2011, Mariana announced that AngloGold had completed a strategic placement whereby AngloGold was issued 45,000,000 shares in Mariana at a price of 12 pence per share. AngloGold has the right to maintain its equity of 19.9% in Mariana in further issues by Mariana.

Safe Harbour

This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation ("forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as at the date of this press release and include, without limitation, statements regarding discussions of future plans, the realization, cost, timing and extent of mineral resource estimates, estimated future exploration expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, and requirements for additional capital. The words "plans", "expects", "budget", "scheduled", "estimate", "forecasts", "intend", "anticipate", "believe", "may", "will", or similar expressions or variations of such words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: the effects of general economic conditions; the price of gold and silver; misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements; risks associated with international operations; the need for additional financing; risks inherent in exploration results; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters; currency and commodity price fluctuations; title matters; environmental liability claims; unanticipated operational risks; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or in the completion of development or construction activities; political risk; and other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's annual information form and MD&A for the most recently completed financial year available on SEDAR. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions and have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, 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 forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Incorporated in Guernsey registered number 44276.

NEITHER THE TSX NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS NEWS RELEASE.

Contacts: In Australia: Mariana Resources Ltd. John Horsburgh Chairman +61 2 94374588

Mariana Resources Ltd. Glen Parsons CFO +612 94374588

RFC Ambrian Limited (Nomad) Rob Adamson +61 2 9250 0041

RFC Ambrian Limited (Nomad) Will Souter +61 2 9250 0050

In U.K. St Brides Media and Finance Ltd (PR) Felicity Edwards +44 20 7236 1177

RFC Ambrian Limited (Co UK Broker) Klara Kaczmarek +44 20 7634 4725

Fox Davies Capital (Co UK Broker) Jonathan Evans +44 20 3463 5000

In Canada: Mariana Resources Ltd (Vancouver Office) Kathryn Witter +1 604 669 9336 www.marianaresources.com

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