Avion Gold Corporation
TSX VENTURE : AVR
OTCQX : AVGCF

Avion Gold Corporation

December 16, 2010 08:30 ET

Avion Intersects Additional High Grade Gold Mineralization at Tabakoto Project

NEW INTERSECTIONS OF UP TO

18.52 g/t Au over 5.6 METRES,

34.52g/t Au over 3.7 METRES

and

13.97 g/t Au over 7.4 METRES

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - Avion Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion") is pleased to announce new drill results for 16 holes that tested the Tabakoto Pit area cross structures and for 6 holes that tested the Dioulafoundou zone. These drill holes combine a mix of in-fill and step-outs on the mineralized zones down plunge and along strike. These results continue to build confidence in Avion's 2011 mine plan.

Significant intercepts include the following:

  • 10.05 g/t Au over 3.7 metres
  • 56.08 g/t Au over 11.4 metres (includes 1508.07 g/t Au over 0.4 metres)
  • 7.31 g/t Au over 6.5 metres
  • 5.29 g/t Au over 12.4 metres
  • 11.35 g/t Au over 2.5 metres
  • 6.21 g/t Au over 8.4 metres
  • 9.40 g/t Au over 5.1 metres
  • 18.52 g/t Au over 5.6 metres
  • 9.51 g/t Au over 3.5 metres
  • 34.52 g/t Au over 3.7 metres
  • 13.57 g/t Au over 7.4 metres
  • 10.48 g/t Au over 5.4 metres
  • 6.70 g/t Au over 4.5 metres

Avion has continued with a program designed to increase the confidence levels in the modeled gold zones and to extend the known Tabakoto pit and Dioulafoundou zones down plunge and, to a lesser extent, along strike. Avion continues to intersect additional zones of gold mineralization that are not part of the modeled zones in the upcoming resource update. These new intercepts will be modeled and added to the overall resources when sufficient information has been acquired. A summary of the drill results are presented in a table at the end of this news release. Select drill results for the Tabakoto area are presented in Figure 2 and for the Dioulafoundou Deposit in Figure 3.

John Begeman, Avion's President and CEO, stated: "Avion's underground development is progressing toward the high grade zones under the Tabakoto Pit with an excess of 400 metres of development completed to date. We are eagerly looking forward to our first look at these zones at depth and the first development ore from these zones is expected in late Q1, 2011. "

In 2010 Avion has completed over 436 core and reverse circulation drill holes totaling approximately 56,000 metres of drilling, at the Tabakoto property. This work has focused predominantly on the Dioulafoundou, Tabakoto, Djambaye II and Ségala areas. In total, in all properties, Avion has completed approximately 68,500 metres of drilling in 504 holes. Drilling is currently being carried out with one drill each on the Tabakoto (Mali) and Houndé (Burkina Faso) properties. Drilling will cease in mid-December to allow time to review results and plan for the 2011 drill program with a planned re-start in February.

Avion continues to work toward a year-end resource update with the majority of the deposit modeling completed. This resource update will include most mineralized zones on the Tabakoto Project which includes the Tabakoto, Segala and Great Quest properties. It is anticipated that the overall mineral resources will reduce somewhat from the historic estimates but will demonstrate higher grades in-line with plans to develop the Segala and Tabakoto deposits from underground.

Avion's procedures for handling core have been presented in previous news releases (See Avion News Release dated May 13, 2010). Assays presented in the attached table have been capped at 32 g/t at Tabakoto and to 50 g/t Au at Dioulafoundou.

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 just over 51,000 ounces produced. 2010 production is estimated at 85,000 ounces of gold. Production sustainability is supported and enhanced by an aggressive 2010 drill program over an approximately 600 km2 exploration package that both surrounds and is near to the Company's existing mine infrastructure. Additionally, the 1,670 km2 Houndé exploration property in Burkina Faso is returning promising results from an ongoing exploration program. These properties are the subject of an approximate US$ 12 million dollar, approximate 70,000 metre, drill-focused, exploration program in 2010, which management expects, based on results to date, to add new resources and future opportunities for Avion. 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 drilling 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.

Avion 2010 – New Tabakoto Pit and Dioulafoundou Deposit Intercepts
HOLE   FROM   TO   LENGTH   EST. TRUE   Au   Au   Zone
#   (m)   (m)   (m)   WIDTH (m)   g/t   Capped    
TABAKOTO DEPOSIT
T-10-57A   107.0   118.0   11.0   8.5   1.16   1.16   NE7
T-10-57A   135.0   136.5   1.5   0.8   1.06   1.06   NE2
T-10-57A   164.0   172.5   8.5       5.20   5.20    
T-10-57A   170.7   172.5   1.8       5.40   5.40    
T-10-57A   175.0   176.0   1.0   0.7   2.50   2.50   NE1?
T-10-57A   178.3   181.2   2.9   2.0   6.92   6.92   NE1
T-10-57A   203.8   205.6   1.8   1.0   6.08   6.08   NE8
T-10-58   127.9   130.9   3.0   2.6   1.24   1.24   NE7
T-10-58   146.2   147.2   1.0   0.8   3.50   3.50   NE2
T-10-58   157.8   159.3   1.5       2.13   2.13    
T-10-58   164.3   165.4   1.2       1.52   1.52    
T-10-58   172.5   176.0   3.5       1.29   1.29    
T-10-58   183.5   189.3   5.8       3.16   3.16    
T-10-58   195.0   195.7   0.7       1.22   1.22    
T-10-58   202.2   205.0   2.8   2.3   4.96   4.96   NE1
T-10-58   211.4   212.9   1.5       1.17   1.17    
T-10-58   215.9   219.5   3.7   2.5   10.05   10.05   NE1?
T-10-58   222.9   226.8   3.9       1.69   1.69    
T-10-58   237.0   237.5   0.5       2.41   2.41    
T-10-58   250.8   254.3   3.5   1.9   3.50   3.50   NE8?
T-10-58   268.0   271.3   3.3   1.5   1.36   1.36   NE8?
T-10-58   294.0   295.2   1.2       1.56   1.56    
T-10-59   42.0   42.8   0.8   0.7   1.56   1.56   NE4?
T-10-59   83.0   84.6   1.6   1.3   2.85   2.85   NE6
T-10-59   87.0   89.0   2.0   1.7   1.17   1.17   NE6?
T-10-59   96.0   99.5   3.5   2.8   1.34   1.34   NE7
T-10-59   104.2   105.7   1.6   1.2   1.80   1.80   NE7?
T-10-59   116.6   120.9   4.3   3.5   4.77   4.77   NE2
T-10-59   121.9   122.6   0.7       1.04   1.04    
T-10-59   139.5   141.0   1.5       1.76   1.76    
T-10-59   154.0   157.0   3.0   2.3   7.93   7.93   NE1
T-10-59   204.0   207.5   3.5   2.9   6.55   6.55   NE8
T-10-60   32.4   36.2   3.8       1.06   1.06    
T-10-60   40.7   42.6   1.9   1.5   1.11   1.11   NE4
T-10-60   67.6   69.1   1.5       2.18   2.18    
T-10-60   72.1   83.5   11.4   10.0   56.08   4.16   NE6
includes   74.8   77.5   2.7       231.41   11.25    
T-10-60   95.0   96.6   1.6   1.3   1.75   1.75   NE7
T-10-60   131.1   133.0   2.0   1.8   6.00   6.00   NE1
T-10-60   155.1   156.7   1.6       15.99   15.99    
T-10-60   182.3   188.8   6.5   6.0   7.31   7.31   NE8
T-10-61   31.2   32.5   1.3   1.0   3.31   3.31   NE4
T-10-61   44.0   57.7   12.4       5.29   5.29    
T-10-61   66.0   67.0   1.0   0.5   2.17   2.17   NE6
T-10-61   102.5   105.7   4.4   2.5   11.33   10.44   NE2
T-10-61   115.5   117.7   2.3       2.99   2.99    
T-10-61   151.5   159.9   8.4   5.0   6.21   6.21   NE1
T-10-61   166.0   167.5   1.5       2.39   2.39    
T-10-62   188.5   190.0   1.5       5.36   5.36    
T-10-62   195.5   197.7   2.2       1.11   1.11    
T-10-62   203.8   205.7   1.9   1.3   3.51   3.51   TK south
T-10-63   217.2   218.4   1.3       4.85   4.85    
T-10-63   222.4   224.0   1.6       1.29   1.29    
T-10-63   228.5   233.6   5.1   4.5   9.40   9.40   Dabo
T-10-63   374.0   375.2   1.2       2.09   2.09    
T-10-64   138.0   140.0   2.0   1.5   4.83   4.83   NW11
T-10-64   178.0   182.8   3.3   2.6   7.63   7.63   NW2
T-10-65   79.9   81.5   1.6       1.30   1.30    
T-10-65   99.4   105.0   5.6   4.5   18.52   13.72   NW1
T-10-65   132.5   134.0   1.5   1.0   13.53   13.53   NW11
T-10-65   136.5   138.5   2.0       4.88   4.88    
T-10-65   179.6   181.1   1.5       3.60   3.60    
T-10-66   7.5   11.0   3.5       1.52   1.52   NW3
T-10-66A   5.5   9.1   3.6       3.82   3.82   NW3
T-10-66A   12.1   15.0   2.9       3.39   3.39    
T-10-66A   48.0   49.5   1.5       1.32   1.32    
T-10-66A   57.4   61.9   4.5   3.0   1.54   1.54   NW5
T-10-66A   66.4   72.4   6.0       1.22   1.22    
T-10-66A   92.5   96.0   3.5       9.51   9.51    
T-10-66A   110.2   112.4   2.2   1.5   7.03   7.03   NW8
T-10-66A   137.0   138.3   1.3       1.76   1.76   NW11
T-10-66A   171.0   173.2   2.2   2.0   5.11   5.11   NW1
T-10-67   16.7   18.2   1.5   1.0   2.83   2.83   NW8
T-10-67   27.6   29.4   1.8       5.61   5.61    
T-10-67   33.0   35.5   2.5       1.34   1.34    
T-10-67   55.5   57.0   1.5       1.20   1.20    
T-10-67   60.0   61.5   1.5       2.30   2.30    
T-10-67   64.2   66.1   1.9       1.66   1.66    
T-10-67   68.9   70.4   1.5       2.14   2.14    
T-10-67   89.9   91.4   1.5       1.41   1.41    
T-10-67   97.7   98.2   0.5       1.17   1.17    
T-10-67   100.4   101.9   1.6       1.17   1.17    
T-10-67   106.0   108.0   2.0   1.5   8.71   8.71   NW1
T-10-67   143.5   143.9   0.4   0.4   1.61   1.61   NW11
T-10-67   147.5   151.2   3.7   3.0   34.52   14.95   NW2
T-10-67   194.9   196.4   1.5   1.0   12.67   12.67   NW7
T-10-68   48.0   49.5   1.5       1.03   1.03    
T-10-68   183.5   190.9   7.4   6.0   13.97   9.97   Tabakoto S
T-10-68   200.6   201.6   1.0       10.47   10.47    
T-10-68   206.1   207.6   1.5       1.22   1.22    
T-10-69   246.6   246.9   0.3       2.00   2.00    
T-10-69   249.8   251.0   1.3       2.78   2.78    
T-10-69   273.2   274.7   1.5       1.06   1.06    
T-10-69   283.1   284.8   1.7       1.59   1.59    
T-10-69   291.0   292.5   1.5   1.0   3.15   3.15   Dabo?
T-10-70   137.7   138.1   0.4       1.01   1.01    
T-10-70   197.3   199.7   2.4   1.8   12.16   12.16   Tabakoto S
T-10-70   210.0   211.0   1.0       3.96   3.96    
T-10-70   213.5   216.6   3.1       2.24   2.24    
T-10-71   372.0   375.0   3.0   2.5   3.39   3.39   Tabakoto S
DIOULAFOUNDOU DEPOSIT
D-10-74   128.0   130.0   2.0   1.5   4.59   4.59   NW1
D-10-74   153.4   156.5   3.2   1.0   2.03   2.03   FW
D-10-76   65.4   69.7   4.4       4.41   4.41    
D-10-76   84.0   85.5   1.5       1.24   1.24    
D-10-76   200.7   210.0   9.3   7.2   4.74   4.74   NW1
D-10-83   19.5   22.5   3.0       1.71   1.71    
D-10-83   227.9   233.9   5.4   4.3   10.48   10.48   NW1
D-10-84   140.9   141.2   0.3       4.07   4.07    
D-10-84   285.1   289.6   4.5   3.0   6.70   6.70   NW1
D-10-87   40.5   42.0   1.5       1.30   1.30    
D-10-87   115.1   116.5   1.4       1.35   1.35    
D-10-87   121.5   124.2   2.8       1.70   1.70    
D-10-87   201.5   206.0   4.5   3.0   1.97   1.97   NW1
D-10-89   196.1   197.0   0.9       1.53   1.53    
D-10-89   340.4   340.9   0.5       2.19   2.19    
D-10-89   349.7   353.0   3.3   2.0   2.81   2.81   NW1
D-10-90   92.0   94.5   2.5       1.25   1.25    
D-10-90   248.0   249.5   1.5       2.77   2.77    
D-10-90   262.9   268.3   5.4   4.0   3.38   3.38   NW1
D-10-90   275.4   277.4   2.0       1.15   1.15    
D-10-90   397.5   399.0   1.5   1.0   1.13   1.13    
D-10-90   409.2   416.2   7.0   4.7   1.26   1.26   NW2
D-10-90   421.5   426.0   4.5       1.02   1.02    
D-10-90   430.5   432.0   1.5       1.82   1.82    
D-10-90   440.0   441.0   1.0       1.53   1.53    

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Fig1TabakotoLocationMap.pdf.

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Fig2TabakotoInterceptsPlan.pdf

To view Figure 3, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Fig3DioulafoundouInterceptsPlan.pdf.

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