Avion Gold Corporation

Avion Gold Corporation

August 17, 2009 12:09 ET

Avion Gold Channel Samples: 108.68 g/t Au Over 2.0 Metres and 25.15 g/t Au Over 2.3 Metres at the Tabakoto Mine, Mali

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2009) - Avion Gold Corporation ("Avion Gold" or "the Company") (TSX VENTURE:AVR), today announced the results of channel samples in the Tabakoto Pit and for the third and fourth of five holes drilled to test the Segala Main zone at depth in support of the planning for underground development of the Segala Deposit (see figure).

Tabakoto Channel Samples:

The two channel samples were collected from a 300+ metre long, northeast-trending, mineralized fracture in the southwest corner of the Tabakoto pit from the centre of the pit base access road and from the pit wall. The two channel samples are 13.0 metres apart, horizontally. The pit wall sample, which returned 108.68 g/t Au (18.24 g/t Au capped at 37.5 g/t Au) over 2.0 metres true thickness, comprised five samples ranging in grade from 7.32 g/t Au over 1.0 metres to 377.5 g/t Au over 0.25 metres. The channel sample from the pit access road returned 25.15 g/t Au (23.47 g/t Au capped) over 2.3 metres (true thickness). These results indicate an area of surface accessible, exceptional grades that will be further delineated through a focused drill program and modeling.

Segala Drill Holes:

Hole S-09-03A intersected 2.32 g/t Au (2.24 g/t Au capped) over 32.15 metres core length (approximately 20.0 metres true width) approximately 310 metres from surface (see figure); this intercept includes a higher grade core that returned 8.19 g/t Au (7.70 g/t Au capped) over 5.25 m core length (3.3 metres true width). Hole S-09-04, located 62.0 metres to the east, returned 3.89 g/t Au (3.07 capped) over 49.3 metres core length (approximately 27.0 metres true width) approximately 338 metres below surface; this intercept includes 5.00 g/t Au (4.09 g/t capped) over 10.2 metres core length (5.6 metres true width), 11.30 g/t Au (7.60 g/t Au capped) over 7.9 metres core length (4.4 metres true width) and 4.65 g/t Au over 5.7 metres core length (3.2 metres true width). Both holes tested an area of the Segala Main Deposit that, from a resource study announced on December 12, 2008, contains an inferred mineral resource. Both of these holes extend the higher grade mineralization to depth where the ore resource model had indicated, similar to slightly higher grades. These two holes were drilled at approximately the same vertical elevation as previous released holes S-09-01 and S-09-02, which returned 3.62 g/t Au over 26.9 metres core length and 5.37 g/t Au over 20.89 core length, respectively (Avion news release July 9th, 2009). Assay results for drill hole S-09-05, which tested the Segala Main zone below all previous drilling at more than 500 metres from the surface, are still pending.

Avion's exploration program is progressing with two core drills and one RC drill. To the end of June approximately 11,000 metres of drilling in 55 holes have been completed. A minimum of 15,000 metres of core drilling is planned. The drill program is designed to both increase the confidence in existing resources and to discover new mineralized zones. The drill program to date has tested targets at the Segala Main (10 holes), Dar Salam (14 holes), Moralia (9 holes), NE Orpailleur (2 holes), Fougala (9 holes), Diolafoundou (3 holes) and to a lesser extent Tabakoto zones (6 holes). The next series of holes will further test the Segala and Tabakoto areas. Results are pending for the non-Segala Main holes, which were prioritized.

"The Tabakoto and Segala properties continue to deliver. The high grade results from the Tabakoto pit may provide additional mill feed for Avion in 2009, and good grades over mineable widths continue to be intersected at Segala Main at depth. Such results indicate that Avion should, with confidence, be able to extend the project mine life beyond the initial four years announced in December, 2008" commented John Begeman, President and CEO.

Studies to support a capacity upgrade to 200,000 ounces per year are in progress with grinding studies, preliminary mill expansion and open pit versus underground mining studies underway. This work is being completed by both consultants and company staff and is expected to be completed before year-end. Avion's current Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource is 1.21 million ounces of gold grading 3.48 g/t Au. In addition, Avion's Inferred Mineral Resource is 1.14 million ounces of gold grading 3.50 g/t Au (Avion, May 19, 2009 news release).

Don Dudek, P.Geo., the Senior Vice President, Exploration of the Company and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the scientific and technical information in this press release. Avion Gold Corporation has not completed a feasibility study on the Mali gold projects.

Avion's procedures for handling drill core comprise initial description and logging into a Microsoft Access database. Mineralized and suspected mineralized intervals in the holes are described in detail and marked for sampling. Core is then cut in half with the right-hand portion of the core put into plastic sample bags and sealed. Assay standard samples are inserted every 20th sample and split core from every 20th sample is also quartered and sent in as a separate sample to double check the assays from these intervals. This sampling procedure was initiated and periodically reviewed by Avion's Senior Vice President of Exploration, Don Dudek, P. Geo. These samples were then delivered to a representative of SGS Mineral Service based in Kayes, Mali. The assay samples are then crushed to 2 mm with riffle split if required to 1.5 kg, the entire sample milled in a LM2 mill to a nominal 95% passing 75 micron. All the preparation equipment is flushed with barren material prior to the commencement of the job. Gold values were determined by Fire Assay and AAS with a 50 gram nominal sample weight. Avion's channel samples were analyzed at Avion's Tabakoto mine laboratory. In order to ensure that local, exceptionally high grade assays are not overly represented in assay composites Avion is also presenting assay composites with high grade samples capped at 27.5 g/t Au, which is the capping level deemed appropriate for the Segala Main Deposit and 37.5 g/t Au for the Tabakoto Deposit (Avion: December 12th, 2008 news release).

About Avion Gold Corporation

Avion is a Canadian-based gold company focused in West Africa. The Company holds 80% of the Tabakoto and Segala gold projects in Mali. Gold production at these projects has commenced, and production for 2009 is forecast to be 55,000 ounces at an expected cash cost of less than US$540/oz.(i)(Avion: August 12, 2009 news release). Avion has a highly skilled management team, with a focus on growth and consolidation within West Africa.

(i)All amounts for 2009 YTD are preliminary and based on initial end of period estimates. Final adjustments may be required. Estimates for cash costs do not include royalties payable.

Cautionary Notes

This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements regarding the impact of the results on the Company; statements with respect to the development potential and timetable of the Mali projects; the future price of gold; the estimation of mineral resources; conclusions of economic evaluation (including scoping studies); the realization of mineral resource estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production, development and exploration; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental risks. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration activities; ability to successfully integrate the purchased properties; foreign operations risks; other risks inherent in the mining industry and other risks described in the annual information form of the Company which is available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in 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 information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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NOTE: To view the figures associated with this release, please visit the following link - http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/avionfigs0817.pdf


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