Avion Gold Corporation

Avion Gold Corporation

June 26, 2012 19:41 ET

Avion Board Thanks Shareholders for Overwhelming Support

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - Avion Gold Corporation (TSX:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion" or the "Company") announced today that, at its annual shareholders' meeting the shareholders voted overwhelmingly in support of the management nominees to the Board. Accordingly, James Coleman QC, John Begeman, Bruce Humphrey, Lewis MacKenzie, Pierre Pettigrew PC, John Vettese and Bernard Wilson have been elected as members of the Board of Directors to represent shareholders' interests for the ensuing year.

James Coleman QC, the Independent Chairman of the Board, stated, "The Board expresses its appreciation to our shareholders for recognizing the dedication and past success of Avion's continuing directors. The Board will continue to implement Avion's strategic plan of expanding production in Mali once the in-country political situation stabilizes, demonstrating the economic potential of the Houndé Project in Burkina Faso and aggressively pursuing additional growth opportunities whether organically or through acquisition."

Avion is pleased to note that rescheduling the AGM resulted in approximately 74% of shareholders voting at the meeting. We believe that this significant shareholder participation and support validates the work of the current Board and management. We would also like to state that we have heard the concerns of our shareholders and will, with management and the Board of Directors, work toward strengthening and growing Avion.

The re-election of a majority of the incumbent directors is also consistent with the recommendation of the leading proxy advisory firms. Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") which noted in a report that Avion's total shareholder return has consistently outperformed its peer group over the past two to three years. ISS added that the recent decline in the Company's share price is largely due to factors beyond management's control - notably, a military coup in Mali which has delayed completion of a mill expansion project at the Tabakoto mine. "It should be noted that the company's governance structure has improved from last year", ISS added.

Biographical Information for New Directors

Bernard Wilson, FCA, ICD.D is a senior financial professional with a wide array of working relationships with business executives in Canada, the United States and internationally. In addition, Mr. Wilson is an advisor in corporate finance and investment banking and has extensive experience in major financial restructurings and advises on international trade and commerce issues. Mr. Wilson was with PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP for 40 years and was Vice Chairman at retirement. Mr. Wilson is a recognized Canadian businessman having served in numerous leadership roles, including Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce - the largest business organization in Canada with 175,000 members; Chairman of the Canadian Council for International Business - the organization representing Canadian multinational companies at the OECD in Paris, the WTO in Geneva and the UN in New York; Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce - Canada; and Member of the Canada/US Trade Committee. He received his Commerce Degree from St Francis Xavier University and later his Doctor of Laws (Hons.). He received his Chartered Accounting degree with PwC and later was awarded his FCA from the CICA, a distinction which is limited to 3% of members. He also completed postgraduate studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution at Harvard Law School. Mr Wilson is also the Founder of the Institute of Corporate Directors' formal directors education program, completed it and was the first Canadian to be awarded the ICD.D accreditation. Given his credentials, Mr. Wilson is well qualified to serve as the Chair of Avion's Audit Committee.

John Vettese is a corporate finance and mergers and acquisition lawyer and is the Deputy Managing Partner of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. He is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee. He has acted and continues to act as lead counsel for several companies in the mining sector. He has consistently been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of Natural Resource Law.

James Coleman stated, "We are pleased to welcome Bernie and John to the Board and look forward to their contributions in expanding Avion's business and further enhancing its corporate governance practices. The Board would like to acknowledge and thank Stan Bharti and George Faught for their significant contributions to the Company. Stan, who founded Avion and has been instrumental in attracting the necessary capital to support operations, will remain involved with Avion as the company remains a member of the Forbes & Manhattan Group of Companies. Avion has benefited from George's wise counsel as an active board member and Chair of the Audit Committee. He also showed his dedication to Avion by resigning his role as an executive officer of another reporting issuer in order to stay on the Avion Board. The Board expresses its gratitude to Mr. Bharti and Mr. Faught for their significant contributions to the Company."

Cautionary Notes

Certain information set forth in this press release contains "forward-looking statements", and "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "expects" "anticipates", "believes", "projects", "plans", and similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Avion's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those risks described in the annual information form of the Company. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Avion undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Avion Gold Corporation
    Michael McAllister
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (416) 309-2134

    Avion Gold Corporation
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    Twitter: @aviongoldAVR