Avion Gold Corporation
TSX : AVR
OTCQX : AVGCF

Avion Gold Corporation

October 03, 2011 07:00 ET

Avion Intersects Additional Gold Mineralization at the Betea Zone, Kofi Property, Mali Including 13.01 g/t Au Over 7.0 Metres and 3.46 g/t Au Over 15.0 Metres

Avion Increases the 2011 Exploration Budget by an Additional US$ 3 Million to Total US$ 16 Million

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2011) - Avion Gold Corporation (TSX:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion" or the 'Company') is pleased to announce the results from an additional 28 reverse circulation drill holes totaling approximately 4,716 metres completed. These holes were completed over a 900 metre strike of the Betea Central zone's interpreted strike length which has been established over approximately 1,000 metres.

The Betea Central zone contains an historic National Instrument 43-101 compliant estimated indicated mineral resource of 1,154,000 tonnes grading 2.30 g/t Au totaling 111,000 ounces and an inferred mineral resource of 981,000 tonnes grading 1.60 g/t Au totaling 52,000 ounces (Roberts, 20081). Note that a qualified person has not carried out the work required to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves for Avion and therefore Avion is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. Avion intends to update the resources for the Kofi property in late Q4, 2011.

Significant new results include the following:

  • 2.16 g/t Au over 20.0 metres
  • 3.46 g/t Au over 15.0 metres
  • 2.12 g/t Au over 24.0 metres
  • 4.48 g/t Au over 10.0 metres
  • 13.01 g/t Au over 7.0 metres
  • 1.92 g/t Au over 35.0 metres
  • 16.75 g/t Au over 2.0 metres

The Betea Central zone lies approximately 25 kilometres north-northwest of Avion's Tabakoto mine (see figure 1). This zone is part of an approximate 3,000 metre long, up to 200 metre wide, northerly striking gold system (Betea South, Central and North zones) that has been tested by generally widely spaced drill holes down to a maximum depth of 150 metres. Combined, these zones (North, Central and South zones) host an indicated mineral resource estimate of 1,154,000 tonnes grading 2.30 g/t Au totaling 111,000 ounces and an inferred mineral resource of 2,623,000 tonnes grading 1.78 g/t Au totaling 151,000 ounces (Roberts, 20081). The Betea zones are hosted by carbonate-altered, sulphidized and quartz veined silicified and tourminalized greywackes. The Betea zones are believed to be similar in character to Randgold's Gara deposit (mineral reserves of 2.73 million ounces Au grading 3.73 g/t Au and mineral resources of 3.74 million ounces Au grading 4.05 g/t Au – Holliday, 2008), which is also hosted by carbonate-altered, sulphidized and tourmaline-altered rocks. Drill and Au-in-soil sample data indicates that the Betea gold system may extend beyond the currently defined resource area to a total approximate projected length of 5,000 metres along strike. Additional mapping and drilling will be required to support this theory.

Don Dudek, Avion's Senior Vice President, Exploration, stated: "The continued drilling over the Betea zone demonstrates the extent and open-ended nature of this mineralized system. Future plans will include aggressively drill testing the system along strike to the north and south with a few deep holes included that will cross the entire mineralized package."

The Betea Central zone consists of at least three parallel lenses (Main, FW1 and FW2) of gold mineralization and numerous other, as of yet, undefined gold-bearing zones. The Main zone demonstrates the best continuity along the 1,000 metre strike of the zone. Within the Main zone, Avion's additional holes have confirmed the presence of five, moderate-north-plunging, higher grade sections that vary from 50 metres to 150 metres in strike length (see figure 2). The secondary FW1 and FW2 zones lie in the footwall of the Main zone, generally adjacent to the higher grade sections in the Main zone. Additional, better Betea FW1 intercepts include 2.96 g/t Au over 12.0 metres (hole BTRC-11-25), 14.2 g/t Au over 2.0 metres (BTRC-11-33) and 1.91 g/t Au over 10.2 metres (BTRC-11-34). A summary of assay composites of holes BTRC-11-12 to BTRC-11-38 is appended to this news release.

During 2011, Avion completed 39 reverse circulation drill holes totaling 6,305 metres over the Betea Central zone and plans to drill additional holes this year. Avion is also taking advantage of a new metallurgical laboratory set up at its Tabakoto mine site to complete preliminary metallurgical tests of the Betea zone mineralization.

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. These samples were delivered to the SGS-Xral laboratory in Kayes, Mali. 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, Exploration, Don Dudek, P. Geo. The assay samples are then crushed to 3 millimetres with a riffle split if required, to 1.5 kilograms, and 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 scraped 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 15.0 g/t Au as per Roberts1 (2008) resource report that included the Betea Central zone.

Avion's 2011 minimum 75,000 metre drill focused exploration program is well underway with 381 core and reverse circulation ('RC') holes totaling approximately 59,000 metres of drilling completed. Drilling completed to date consists of approximately 32,600 metres on Avion's Mali projects (Tabakoto and Kofi) and 26,300 metres on Avion's Burkina Faso property (Houndé) with a core and an RC drill rig active on the Kofi property and two core rigs active on the Houndé property. Two additional core drill rigs are now active the Tabakoto property. In conjunction with Avion's continued success on both the Kofi and Tabakoto properties, Avion's board has agreed to increase the 2011 exploration budget for the Kofi and Tabakoto projects by US$ 1.5 million dollars, each.

Don Dudek, P.Geo., the Senior Vice President, Exploration of the Company and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release.

To view the "Betea Main Zone Contour Long Section", please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Betea_Main_Zone_Contour_Long_Section.pdf.

To view the "Tabakoto Kofi Project Plan Map", please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Tabakoto_Kofi_Project_Plan_Map.pdf.

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. On July 5, 2011 Avion announced its initial proven or probable mineral reserve estimate of 7.24 million tonnes grading 3.92 g/t Au totaling 913,100 ounces of gold at the Tabakoto Project. Additionally, the 1,670 km2 Houndé exploration property in Burkina Faso continues to return promising results. These properties are subject to a US$ 16 million dollars, greater than 75,000 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

1 Avion has reviewed Dr. Roberts 2008 report titled 'Mineral Resource Estimation for the Kofi Project, Mali'. This report, as stated, was prepared as per NI 43-101 and Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) guidelines. Accepted methodology includes construction of a section set near-perpendicular to the zone trend, the calculation of composites using a statistical Au top-cut, the construction of wire frames using a 0.5 g/t Au cut-off grade, modeling of the saprolite, transition and fresh rock contacts, the collection of a satisfactory amount of specific gravity data and then block modeling the zone using ordinary Kriging with a 1 g/t Au cut-off grade. The distinction between indicated and inferred mineral resources was determined statistically by the available data. Avion accepts this methodology and has completed drilling over both the Betea Central and Kofi C zones that generally confirms the location, the shape and grades of the mineralized zones at the Betea Central zone. However, at this point it is too early to comment on the accuracy of the resource study completed by Roberts so the reader must be cautioned that the stated indicated and inferred mineral resources are only for overall reference and still need to be validated and re-stated by Avion. Stated simply, a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserve and Avion is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves.

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.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.aviongoldcorp.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @AvionGoldAVR.

Betea Central Zone Gold Assay Composites

Hole ID From
(m)
To
(m)
Width
(m)
True
width*
Grade
(g/t) Au
Capped**
grade
(g/t) Au
Zone Comments
BTRC-11-0012 57.0 71.0 14.0 11.2 1.21 1.21 Main
BTRC-11-0012 90.0 91.0 1.0 1.21 1.21
BTRC-11-0012 106.0 107.0 1.0 1.37 1.37
BTRC-11-0013 79.0 80.0 1.0 1.53 1.53
BTRC-11-0014 158.0 161.0 3.0 2.5 2.33 2.33 Main
BTRC-11-0014 181.0 196.0 15.0 14.2 1.40 1.40 FW1
BTRC-11-0014 218.0 221.0 3.0 2.10 2.10 FW2
BTRC-11-0014 227.0 228.0 1.0 1.85 1.85 Stopped in mineralization
BTRC-11-0015 70.0 71.0 1.0 1.46 1.46
BTRC-11-0015 143.0 144.0 1.0 0.9 4.47 4.47 Main
BTRC-11-0015 146.0 147.0 1.0 1.01 1.01
BTRC-11-0016 29.0 30.0 1.0 1.0 1.63 1.63 FW2
BTRC-11-0016 87.0 92.0 5.0 4.56 3.35
BTRC-11-0016 150.0 151.0 1.0 2.70 2.70
BTRC-11-0017 13.0 32.0 19.0 14.8 1.00 1.00 FW1
BTRC-11-0017 53.0 57.0 4.0 2.12 2.12
BTRC-11-0017 60.0 61.0 1.0 1.74 1.74
BTRC-11-0017 75.0 76.0 1.0 1.78 1.78
BTRC-11-0017 87.0 90.0 3.0 1.72 1.72
BTRC-11-0018 0.0 2.0 2.0 1.32 1.32
BTRC-11-0018 18.0 29.0 11.0 8.3 1.42 1.42 FW1
BTRC-11-0018 120.0 121.0 1.0 2.28 2.28
BTRC-11-0018 124.0 125.0 1.0 4.92 4.92
BTRC-11-0019 41.0 61.0 20.0 15.5 2.16 2.16 Main
BTRC-11-0019 77.0 80.0 3.0 2.18 2.18
BTRC-11-0020 41.0 56.0 15.0 13.2 3.46 3.46 Main
BTRC-11-0020 88.0 89.0 1.0 1.0 3.20 3.20 FW1
BTRC-11-0021 102.0 113.0 11.0 6.8 1.71 1.71 Main
BTRC-11-0021 123.0 127.0 4.0 3.0 2.02 2.02 FW1
BTRC-11-0022 45.0 64.0 19.0 16.2 1.60 1.60 Main 2 m mined by artisanals
BTRC-11-0022 87.0 88.0 1.0 2.78 2.78
BTRC-11-0023 9.0 10.0 1.0 2.24 2.24
BTRC-11-0023 74.0 75.0 1.0 9.73 9.73
BTRC-11-0023 94.0 118.0 24.0 17.0 2.12 2.12 Main
BTRC-11-0023 122.0 123.0 1.0 1.33 1.33
BTRC-11-0023 165.0 166.0 1.0 1.66 1.66
BTRC-11-0024 0.0 1.0 1.0 3.78 3.78
BTRC-11-0024 9.0 11.0 2.0 4.26 4.26
BTRC-11-0024 59.0 63.0 4.0 3.0 1.27 1.27 Main
BTRC-11-0024 79.0 80.0 1.0 2.30 2.30
BTRC-11-0024 110.0 111.0 1.0 2.76 2.76
BTRC-11-0025 56.0 57.0 1.0 1.47 1.47
BTRC-11-0025 60.0 62.0 2.0 1.65 1.65 \
BTRC-11-0025 132.0 133.0 1.0 1.58 1.58
BTRC-11-0026 49.0 52.0 3.0 3.0 7.42 6.62 Main
BTRC-11-0026 62.0 63.0 1.0 1.72 1.72
BTRC-11-0027 80.0 81.0 1.0 1.61 1.61
BTRC-11-0027 84.0 94.0 10.0 8.2 4.48 3.78 Main
BTRC-11-0027 131.0 132.0 1.0 1.13 1.13
BTRC-11-0027 138.0 139.0 1.0 1.25 1.25
BTRC-11-0027 151.0 152.0 1.0 3.51 3.51
BTRC-11-0027 155.0 157.0 2.0 1.64 1.64
BTRC-11-0028 120.0 151.0 31.0 24.1 1.69 1.69
including 120.0 134.0 14.0 11.0 1.20 1.20 Main
including 139.0 151.0 12.0 8.9 2.96 2.96 FW1
BTRC-11-0029 62.0 63.0 1.0 1.83 1.83
BTRC-11-0029 64.0 65.0 1.0 1.24 1.24
BTRC-11-0029 67.0 68.0 1.0 14.47 14.47
BTRC-11-0029 92.0 96.0 4.0 1.83 1.83
BTRC-11-0029 101.0 102.0 1.0 9.35 9.35
BTRC-11-0029 112.0 113.0 1.0 9.83 9.83
BTRC-11-0029 118.0 119.0 1.0 2.07 2.07
BTRC-11-0029 125.0 126.0 1.0 1.31 1.31
BTRC-11-0029 138.0 141.0 3.0 2.7 5.06 5.06 Main
BTRC-11-0030 42.0 52.0 10.0 7.7 2.59 2.59 Main
BTRC-11-0030 70.0 71.0 1.0 1.34 1.34
BTRC-11-0031 112.0 113.0 1.0 1.33 1.33
BTRC-11-0031 129.0 130.0 1.0 1.0 6.13 6.13 Main
BTRC-11-0031 137.0 138.0 1.0 1.10 1.10
BTRC-11-0031 175.0 176.0 1.0 3.47 3.47 FW1
BTRC-11-0031 192.0 193.0 1.0 1.34 1.34
BTRC-11-0032 120.0 122.0 2.0 3.66 3.66
BTRC-11-0032 131.0 133.0 2.0 3.68 3.68
BTRC-11-0032 166.0 167.0 1.0 1.0 5.70 5.70 Main
BTRC-11-0033 0.0 35.0 35.0 1.92 1.15 8 m mined by artisanals
BTRC-11-0033 44.0 56.0 12.0 9.5 1.49 1.49 Main
BTRC-11-0033 86.0 100.0 14.0 9.5 1.01 1.01 FW1
BTRC-11-0033 135.0 137.0 2.0 2.0 14.50 9.20 FW2
BTRC-11-0033 145.0 152.0 7.0 1.02 1.02
BTRC-11-0034 87.0 88.0 1.0 1.69 1.69
BTRC-11-0034 92.0 96.0 4.0 4.0 1.62 1.62 Main
BTRC-11-0034 103.0 104.0 1.0 1.0 3.78 3.78 FW1
BTRC-11-0034 106.0 107.0 1.0 1.10 1.10
BTRC-11-0034 116.0 123.0 7.0 6.0 1.63 1.63 FW1
BTRC-11-0034 137.0 138.0 1.0 1.56 1.56
BTRC-11-0034 149.0 150.0 1.0 5.15 5.15
BTRC-11-0034 154.0 156.0 2.0 1.82 1.82
BTRC-11-0034 166.0 176.0 10.0 1.91 1.91
BTRC-11-0034 180.0 181.0 1.0 2.13 2.13
BTRC-11-0035 38.0 39.0 1.0 0.00 0.00
BTRC-11-0035 151.0 174.0 23.0 14.8 1.98 1.98 Main
BTRC-11-0036 61.0 64.0 3.0 1.56 1.56
BTRC-11-0036 155.0 161.0 6.0 4.6 3.43 3.43 Main
BTRC-11-0037 90.0 97.0 7.0 6.0 13.01 5.66 FW1
BTRC-11-0037 106.0 107.0 1.0 1.22 1.22
BTRC-11-0037 121.0 136.0 15.0 12.3 1.00 1.00 FW2
BTRC-11-0038 98.0 99.0 1.0 2.57 2.57
BTRC-11-0038 106.0 110.0 4.0 4.0 3.03 3.03 Main
BTRC-11-0038 118.0 120.0 2.0 2.0 12.83 8.90 FW1
BTRC-11-0038 123.0 125.0 2.0 2.0 16.75 8.00 FW1
BTRC-11-0038 128.0 129.0 1.0 1.59 1.59
BTRC-11-0038 147.0 150.0 3.0 1.80 1.80
BTRC-11-0039 7.0 13.0 6.0 2.26 2.26
BTRC-11-0039 70.0 82.0 12.0 10.7 2.47 2.47 Main
BTRC-11-0039 93.0 106.0 13.0 10.6 1.36 1.36 FW1
BTRC-11-0039 129.0 130.0 1.0 1.15 1.15
BTRC-11-0039 153.0 154.0 1.0 2.99 2.99
* True width estimated where there is sufficient information
** Au values capped at 15 g/t Au as per Roberts, 2008

Contact Information