Avion Gold Corporation
OTCQX : AVGCF
TSX : AVR

Avion Gold Corporation

April 05, 2011 08:00 ET

Avion Djambaye II Zone Infill Drilling Returns an Average Grade 47% Higher Than Indicated in Resource Model

54.41 g/t Au over 6.0 metres

51.17 g/t Au over 7.0 metres

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Avion Gold Corporation (TSX:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion" or the 'Company') is pleased to announce the results from 34 drill holes totaling approximately 2,500 metres completed over a 600 metre portion of the Djambaye II zone in Q1, 2011. Drilling was focused at the northern end of the Djambaye II zone where previous drilling returned higher grades from two closely spaced mineralized zones. Avion's goal is to upgrade the Inferred open pit mineral resources to Measured and Indicated mineral resources. Current open pit Inferred resources total 1.86 million tonnes grading 3.22 g/t Au totaling 192,200 ounces of gold and underground Inferred mineral resources total 1.19 million tonnes grading 3.29 g/t Au totaling 126,000 ounces of gold (see Avion news release, December 30, 2010).

Significant results include the following:

  • 2.82 g/t Au over 19.0 metres
  • 18.73 g/t Au over 5.0 metres
  • 18.35 g/t Au over 4.0 metres
  • 33.67 g/t Au over 5.0 metres
  • 10.40 g/t Au over 5.0 metres
  • 17.62 g/t Au over 3.0 metres
  • 51.17 g/t Au over 7.0 metres
  • 16.06 g/t Au over 9.0 metres
  • 54.41 g/t Au over 6.0 metres
  • 7.67 g/t Au over 7.0 metres
  • 16.79 g/t Au over 3.0 metres

The northern end of the Djambaye II zone is located approximately nine kilometres southwest of the Tabakoto mine site. Recent drilling has exceeded Avion's expectations with numerous high grade intercepts. The average width and grade presented herein incorporated a 1.5 metre minimum mining width which is consistent with the previous resource statement. The initial 34 holes, which tested a 600 metre portion of the zones, returned a length weighted average grade for the combined Djambaye II and Djambaye II West zones of 8.25 g/t Au uncapped and 4.82 g/t Au capped over an average width of 3.2 metres true width. Individually the Djambaye II zone returned an average weighted grade of 12.48 g/t Au uncapped and 6.56 g/t Au capped over an average true width of 3.2 metres. The Djambaye II West zone returned an average grade of 3.25 g/t Au uncapped and 2.78 g/t Au capped over and average true width of 3.2 metres.

The Djambaye II mineralized zone has been traced for approximately 2,500 metres along strike and is still open to the north, south and to depth. Infill drill holes were emplaced every 25 metres along a 600 metre portion of the northern part of the zone and were targeted at the 25 metre depth in order to define an initial, potentially near surface, mineable zone. Additional in-fill holes are planned at the 50 metre vertical depth in the same area. The drill holes were designed to intersect the Djambaye II and Djambaye II West zones, which are 30 to 60 metres apart. Additional mineralization was also intersected during the drill program which may represent (as of yet) un-modeled cross structures. A summary of the drill intercepts are presented in the attached tables.

Management expects the current drilling to provide enough information to support an updated and upgraded resource statement in preparation for a reserve statement.

Don Dudek, Avion's Senior Vice President, Exploration stated: "These in-fill holes came back stronger than anticipated and, as such, are expected to enhance an open pit mine model. Management believes that these near surface high grades extend to depth and as such further demonstrate the potential for underground mining."

Avion's procedures for handling reverse circulation drill chips comprise initial splitting of the rock chips from one metre drill length samples into 2.0 kilogram samples, as well as description and logging into a database. Theses samples, and some of the recent core samples, are then delivered to the Company's mine site laboratory at Tabakoto. Assay standard samples are inserted every 25th sample and duplicate reverse circulation from every 20th sample are 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. The assay samples are then crushed to 3 millimetres with a riffle split if required, to 1.5 kilograms, the entire sample milled in a LM2 mill to a nominal 95% passing 75μm. All the preparation equipment is flushed with barren material prior to the commencement of the job and all sample bowls are scrapped clean with a scratch pad. Gold values were determined by Fire Assay and AAS with a 50 gram nominal sample weight. 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 65.0 g/t Au for the Djambaye II zone and 25 g/t Au for the Djambaye II West zone, which are the capping level deemed appropriate for the Djambaye II zone and consistent with previous practice on the property. High grade samples are also subject to up to four repeat assays, of which, an average of the group is used in interval calculations.

Avion's results from the on-site laboratory have been of consistent high quality, with assay standards returning values well within accepted ranges.

Avion's 2011 approximately 60,000 metre drill focused exploration program is well underway with 132 core and reverse circulation ('RC') holes totaling approximately 15,550 metres of drilling completed. Drilling completed to date is split evenly between Avion's Tabakoto (Mali) and Houndé (Burkina Faso) properties with a core and an RC drill rig on each property. Drilling will commence on the Kofi property this month. Additional drill rigs will be sourced to accelerate and expand the 2011 drill programs.

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. 

About Avion Gold Corporation

Avion is a Canadian-based gold mining company focused in West Africa that holds 80% of the Tabakoto and Ségala gold projects in Mali. Gold production commenced at these projects in 2009 with approximately 51,290 ounces produced. 2010 production was 87,630 ounces of gold. Production sustainability will continue to be supported and enhanced by an aggressive 2011 drill program over an approximately 600 km2 exploration package that both surrounds and is near to the Company's existing mine infrastructure. The current mineral resources estimate for the Tabakoto project demonstrates several sources of excellent grade open pit and good grade underground mineral resources thus providing significant flexibility for Avion's future mining plans. Additionally, the 1,670 km2 Houndé exploration property in Burkina Faso continues to return promising results. These properties are subject to a preliminary US$ 10 million dollar, approximate 60,000 metre, drill-focused, exploration program in 2011. Avion continues to progress towards its medium term goal of 200,000 ounces of gold per year and a longer term goal of organic growth through development of its exploration properties. The Company is developing an underground mine at the Tabakoto deposit, and is preparing to mine underground at the Ségala deposit. Avion has a highly skilled management team, with a focus on growth and consolidation within West Africa.

Cautionary Notes

The ability of Avion to increase production to 200,000 ounces of gold per year has not been the subject of a feasibility study and there is no certainty that the proposed expansion will be economically viable.

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 drill results on the Company; statements with respect to the development potential and timetable of the Tabakoto, Kofi and Houndé 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 those 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.

Djambaye II Main Zone Intercepts

Hole From
(m)
To
(m)
Length
(m)
True
width
Zone Au g/t Capped
at 30 g/t
KRC-11-01 28 29 1 0.8 Main 2.17 2.17
KRC-11-02 43 50 7 5.3 Main 5.36 5.32
KRC-11-03 40 43 3 2.3 Main 3.04 3.04
KRC-11-04 41 42 1 0.8 Main 1.39 1.39
KRC-11-06 33 35 2 1.5 Main 1.25 1.25
KRC-11-08 38 40 2 1.5 Main 2.25 2.25
KRC-11-09 28 29 1 0.8 Main 1.06 1.06
KRC-11-10 34 36 2 1.5 Main 1.89 1.89
KRC-11-11 30 31 1 0.8 Main 1.67 1.67
KRC-11-13 30 31 1 0.8 Main 1.07 1.07
KRC-11-14 31 33 2 1.5 Main 3.25 3.25
KRC-11-14A 32 35 3 2.3 Main 3.57 3.57
KRC-11-15 53 56 3 2.3 Main 1.52 1.52
KRC-11-16 50 52 2 1.5 Main 5.58 5.58
KRC-11-18 47 52 5 3.8 Main 33.67 19.48
KRC-11-19 52 57 5 3.8 Main 10.40 9.35
KRC-11-20 31 34 3 2.3 Main 17.62 11.12
KRC-11-21 38 42 4 3.0 Main 3.10 3.10
KRC-11-22 35 42 7 5.3 Main 51.17 14.56
KRC-11-23 34 43 9 6.8 Main 16.06 8.98
KRC-11-24 31 37 6 4.5 Main 54.41 6.77
KRC-11-25 39 43 4 3.0 Main 6.48 6.48
KRC-11-26 47 54 7 5.3 Main 7.67 7.57
KRC-11-27 47 50 3 2.3 Main 3.43 3.43
KRC-11-28 39 43 4 3.0 Main 1.55 1.55
KRC-11-29 32 35 3 2.3 Main 16.79 15.77
KRC-11-30 47 49 2 1.5 Main 1.82 1.82
KRC-11-31 34 36 2 1.5 Main 4.52 4.52
KRC-11-32 38 43 5 3.8 Main 1.50 1.50
KRC-11-33 35 44 9 6.8 Main 4.85 4.85
KRC-11-34 32 37 5 3.8 Main 1.08 1.08

Djambaye II West Zone Intercepts

Hole From
(m)
To
(m)
Length
(m)
True
width
Zone Au g/t Capped
at 30 g/t
KRC-11-02 49 50 1 0.8 2 1.47 1.47
KRC-11-03 47 50 3 2.3 2 2.11 2.11
KRC-11-06 53 60 7 5.3 2 5.15 4.64
KRC-11-07 48 52 4 3.0 2 2.26 2.26
KRC-11-08 52 57 5 3.8 2 18.73 11.02
KRC-11-09 57 58 1 0.8 2 2.18 2.18
KRC-11-10 65 66 1 0.8 2 13.06 13.06
KRC-11-11 62 63 1 0.8 2 1.45 1.45
KRC-11-13 56 59 3 2.3 2 7.24 7.24
KRC-11-14 57 58 1 0.8 2 2.28 2.28
KRC-11-15 73 77 4 3.0 2 5.19 5.19
KRC-11-16 69 73 4 3.0 2 18.35 12.31
KRC-11-18 69 72 3 2.3 2 3.38 3.38
KRC-11-20 54 57 3 2.3 2 1.67 1.67
KRC-11-22 46 51 5 3.8 2 4.22 4.22
KRC-11-23 47 48 1 0.8 2 1.84 1.84
KRC-11-25 49 52 3 2.3 2 2.65 2.65
KRC-11-26 58 63 5 3.8 2 3.75 3.75
KRC-11-28 45 48 3 2.3 2 2.08 2.08
KRC-11-29 39 44 5 3.8 2 1.73 1.73
KRC-11-30 56 59 3 2.3 2 1.53 1.53
KRC-11-31 40 41 1 0.8 2 1.11 1.11
KRC-11-32 42 43 1 0.8 2 3.51 3.51
KRC-11-33 38 44 6 4.5 2 6.76 6.76
KRC-11-34 44 45 1 0.8 2 1.08 1.08

Additional Djambaye II Zone area mineralization

Hole From
(m)
To
(m)
Length
(m)
True
width
Zone Au g/t Capped
at 30 g/t
KRC-11-05 25 26 1 0.8 unknown 2.78 2.78
KRC-11-05 32 51 19 14.3 unknown 2.82 2.82
KRC-11-07 11 12 1 0.8 unknown 1.14 1.14
KRC-11-12 46 47 1 0.8 unknown 52.37 29.93
KRC-11-15 25 27 2 1.5 unknown 3.71 3.71
KRC-11-19 22 39 17 12.8 unknown 2.16 2.16
KRC-11-19 22 25 3 2.3 unknown 2.75 2.75
KRC-11-19 26 31 5 3.8 unknown 1.18 1.18
KRC-11-19 32 39 7 5.3 unknown 3.12 3.12
KRC-11-21 31 32 1 0.8 unknown 1.17 1.17
KRC-11-21 57 58 1 0.8 unknown 1.13 1.13
KRC-11-25 19 20 1 0.8 unknown 1.72 1.72
KRC-11-25 66 67 1 0.8 unknown 1.81 1.81
KRC-11-25 72 74 2 1.5 unknown 14.21 12.63
KRC-11-31 14 15 1 0.8 unknown 21.59 21.59

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