Avion Gold Corporation
OTCQX : AVGCF
TSX : AVR

Avion Gold Corporation

January 11, 2011 08:17 ET

Avion Intersects High Gold Grades at Kofi Project, Mali, West Africa

6.05 g/t Au over 27.0 metres

3.83 g/t Au over 53.0 metres

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 11, 2011) - Avion Gold Corporation (TSX:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion" or the 'Company') is pleased to announce the results from 22 drill holes totaling 4,458 metres completed over the Kofi Project in Q4, 2010. Drilling was focused in and around the Kofi C zone which has Indicated resources of 873,000 tonnes grading 3.6 g/t Au totaling 99,000 ounces of gold and Inferred resources of 913,000 tonnes at 3.7 g/t Au totaling 109,000 ounces gold (Roberts, 2008, NI43-101 compliant resource report, available under the SEDAR profile of AXMIN Inc.).

Significant results include the following:

  • 6.05 g/t Au over 27.0 metres
  • 3.83 g/t Au over 52.0 metres
  • 6.05 g/t Au over 21.0 metres
  • 7.34 g/t Au over 7.9 metres
  • 4.86 g/t Au over 14.1 metres
  • 9.14 g/t Au over 14.7 metres
  • 4.96 g/t Au over 15.9 metres
  • 3.19 g/t Au over 16.2 metres
  • 50.99 g/t Au over 4.5 metres
  • 8.26 g/t Au over 9.1 metres
  • 13.44 g/t Au over 11.2 metres
  • 6.05 g/t Au over 11.2 metres

The Kofi C zone lies within a north-northeast trending corridor of deposits, approximately 30 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide where at least nineteen deposits and zones have been discovered, fifteen of which are on the adjacent Randgold property (see Figure 1). A clear break, defined by the magnetic data, suggests that this trend continues onto the Kofi property for at least 15 kilometres.

Avion's 2010 drill program tested a number of model-driven-conceptual, mineralization step-out and verification targets in the Kofi zone area. This program succeeded by extending known zones, verifying mineralization and grades within the historically defined zones, and in the discovery of new mineralized zones. A map that demonstrates the approximate location of the drill intercepts, relative to a surface plan of the previously interpreted mineralized zones, is presented in Figure 2. A summary of the drill intercepts is presented at the end of this news release in a table.

Don Dudek, Avion's Senior Vice President, Exploration stated: "These initial drill results strongly demonstrate the potential for mineable grades and widths on the Kofi property in a setting that has already produced gold resources of more than 24 million ounces. Avion has the advantage of learning from all of the previous work done in the region to further leverage its exploration efforts on this relatively, under-explored, property."

The Kofi C zone has been traced for about 350 metres along strike and to approximately 200 metres depth, with the bulk of the reported resources located within 100 m from surface. The gold mineralization is predominantly hosted by an altered package of greywackes, calcareous siltstones, silty limestone and argillites. In detail, gold grades are returned from carbonate-, silica-, sulphide- (pyrite, arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite) and sericite-altered syn-genetic polymicitic breccias to carbonate-dominant, secondary, sedimentary breccias. Tourmaline- and talc-altered greywackes occur proximal to the mineralization but are not mineralized.

The Kofi property is a large, 476 sq. km (approximately 333 sq. km. after concession renewals), property package situated, at its nearest point, within approximately five kilometres to the northwest of Avion's Tabakoto Project. The Kofi property wraps around the north side of Randgold's Loulo Mine concessions (Historic Measured and Indicated resources of 62.69 million tonnes grading 4.55 g/t Au - see Figure below).

The Kofi property contains nine mineralized zones with identified mineral resources. All of the estimated mineral resources lie in the Kofi Nord concession of which Avion's holds an 81.25% interest with 12.5% held by African Mining Selection Corporation and 6.25% held by Société Financière d'Exploration d'Or au Mali. These interests are prior to a carried interest of up to 20% due to the Government of Mali upon commencement of production. Therefore, Indicated mineral resources of 238,000 ounces and Inferred mineral resources of 299,000 ounces are credited to Avion. Total estimated Indicated Mineral Resources are approximately 3.24 million tonnes grading 2.55 g/t Au totaling 293,000 ounces Au (Roberts, 2008, NI43-101 compliant report). In addition, the Kofi property hosts total Inferred Mineral Resources of approximately 5.26 million tonnes grading 2.18 g/t Au totaling 368,000 ounces gold (Dec. 11, 2007 AXMIN news release, Roberts, 2008 NI43-101 compliant report) . Most of the zones are open along strike and to depth with zones only tested from 60 to 200 metres below surface. All of the zones are within 15 to 38 kilometers of Tabakoto's mine infrastructure, potentially placing these zones, including the estimated mineral resources, within trucking distance to the Tabakoto mill.

Avion continues to compile the project data and develop target models and drill targets in preparation for an aggressive drill program of approximately 22,000 metres in 2011. A VTEM survey is planned to cover the concessions in early January 2011.

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 25 g/t Au.

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 was 87,660 ounces of gold. Production sustainability has been supported and enhanced by an aggressive 2010 drill program over an approximately 500 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 has returned promising results. These properties have been the subject of an approximate US$ 12 million dollar, approximate 70,000 metre, drill-focused, exploration program in 2010. 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 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.

Kofi C zone Area 2010 Significant Intercepts*
                     
HOLE ID   FROM
(m)
  TO
(m)
  WIDTH
(m)
  Au
g/t
  CAPPED at
25 g/t
1
C-10-0001   96.0   97.0   1.0   3.96   3.96
C-10-0001   107.6   108.2   0.7   2.99   2.99
C-10-0001   109.2   110.4   1.2   1.78   1.78
C-10-0001   117.4   120.3   3.0   2.42   2.42
C-10-0001   126.5   131.0   4.5   3.74   3.74
C-10-0001   176.3   177.3   1.0   1.83   1.83
C-10-0001   185.7   187.0   1.3   2.14   2.14
C-10-0001   196.8   197.7   0.9   1.16   1.16
C-10-0001   199.6   200.6   1.0   2.42   2.42
C-10-0001   221.9   223.0   1.2   1.97   1.97
C-10-0001   232.0   234.4   2.4   2.63   2.63
C-10-0001   235.5   236.5   1.1   3.26   3.26
C-10-0001   238.7   239.8   1.1   1.53   1.53
C-10-0001   244.4   246.6   2.2   1.11   1.11
C-10-0001   247.7   252.0   4.3   5.33   5.33
C-10-0001   302.7   305.4   2.7   1.88   1.88
C-10-0001   315.8   316.9   1.1   1.28   1.28
C-10-0001   334.6   335.7   1.1   1.73   1.73
C-10-0002   4.5   18.0   13.5   1.80   1.80
C-10-0002   21.0   24.0   3.0   1.28   1.28
C-10-0002   85.2   86.6   1.4   1.05   1.05
C-10-0002   90.3   90.9   0.6   1.12   1.12
C-10-0002   92.5   92.8   0.4   1.77   1.77
C-10-0002   119.2   119.6   0.4   1.10   1.10
C-10-0002   133.2   134.1   0.9   1.14   1.14
C-10-0002   136.8   137.9   1.1   1.32   1.32
C-10-0002   156.5   157.7   1.2   1.08   1.08
C-10-0002   162.3   163.7   1.4   1.30   1.30
C-10-0002   164.7   176.5   11.8   1.90   1.90
C-10-0002   178.2   178.7   0.4   3.74   3.74
C-10-0002   182.0   183.0   1.0   1.02   1.02
C-10-0002   202.7   203.8   1.1   1.19   1.19
C-10-0002   211.2   212.4   1.2   1.03   1.03
C-10-0002   228.8   238.3   9.5   3.96   3.96
C-10-0002   251.0   254.3   3.3   4.06   4.06
C-10-0002   265.6   266.3   0.7   1.62   1.62
C-10-0002   267.4   269.0   1.7   1.38   1.38
C-10-0002   273.7   275.1   1.5   2.39   2.39
C-10-0002   304.9   305.5   0.6   1.73   1.73
C-10-0003   72.0   99.0   27.0   6.05   6.05
C-10-0003   120.0   121.0   1.0   1.09   1.09
C-10-0003   125.8   127.9   2.1   6.49   6.49
C-10-0003   185.0   186.0   1.0   1.35   1.35
C-10-0003   195.4   197.5   2.1   1.55   1.55
C-10-0003   199.6   203.4   3.8   1.84   1.84
C-10-0003   204.4   205.4   1.0   2.90   2.90
C-10-0003   235.7   236.9   1.3   1.90   1.90
C-10-0003   248.1   251.4   3.4   4.82   4.82
C-10-0003   268.0   269.3   1.3   1.52   1.52
C-10-0003   276.2   277.0   0.8   1.77   1.77
C-10-0004   92.3   99.1   6.7   2.22   2.22
C-10-0004   106.5   108.0   1.5   1.27   1.27
C-10-0004   110.1   118.0   7.9   7.34   7.34
C-10-0004   144.1   145.8   1.7   1.52   1.52
C-10-0004   207.0   208.0   1.0   1.66   1.66
C-10-0004   257.9   260.5   2.6   1.48   1.48
C-10-0004   265.0   269.4   4.4   10.67   10.67
C-10-0004   272.3   273.6   1.3   2.12   2.12
C-10-0004   274.8   277.7   2.9   7.51   7.51
C-10-0004   285.5   287.8   2.3   3.16   3.16
C-10-0005   38.0   39.0   1.0   1.29   1.29
C-10-0005   56.0   108.0   52.0   3.83   3.83
incl.   56.0   62.2   6.2   2.24   2.24
incl.   64.7   65.9   1.2   1.82   1.82
incl.   66.8   85.3   18.5   2.81   2.81
incl.   87.0   108.0   21.0   6.21   6.12
C-10-0006   9.0   10.5   1.5   1.80   1.80
C-10-0006   92.3   106.4   14.2   4.86   4.15
C-10-0006   111.5   126.2   14.7   9.14   8.60
C-10-0006   141.8   144.5   2.7   1.53   1.53
C-10-0006   148.1   150.2   2.1   1.95   1.95
C-10-0006   160.1   176.0   15.9   4.96   4.40
C-10-0007   48.0   49.5   1.5   1.71   1.71
C-10-0007   92.5   94.0   1.5   3.96   3.96
C-10-0008   13.0   15.0   2.0   4.66   4.66
C-10-0008   19.8   36.0   16.3   3.19   3.19
C-10-0008   51.6   52.7   1.0   1.60   1.60
C-10-0008   61.3   62.3   1.0   2.66   2.66
C-10-0008   71.4   72.8   1.3   9.13   9.13
C-10-0008   86.9   92.9   6.0   1.10   1.10
C-10-0009   10.5   16.5   6.0   2.18   2.18
C-10-0009   44.0   48.5   4.5   50.99   13.67
C-10-0009   55.5   59.3   3.8   7.60   7.60
C-10-0009   108.3   111.7   3.3   1.60   1.60
C-10-0010   23.2   24.7   1.5   8.04   8.04
C-10-0010   106.7   108.2   1.5   1.06   1.06
C-10-0010   112.6   121.7   9.2   8.26   7.66
C-10-0011               NSR    
C-10-0012   78.0   93.0   15.0   2.65   2.65
C-10-0012   144.9   146.4   1.5   1.04   1.04
C-10-0013   80.4   81.3   0.9   3.20   3.20
C-10-0014   103.4   114.6   11.2   13.44   9.90
C-10-0015   110.9   122.1   11.3   6.05   6.05
C-10-0015   135.2   138.4   3.2   1.14   1.14
C-10-0016               NSR    
C-10-0017               NSR    
C-10-0018               NSR    
C-10-0019               NSR    
C-10-0020   180.0   181.2   1.2   1.91   1.91
C-10-0020   189.2   190.4   1.2   1.49   1.49
C-10-0020   197.0   198.0   1.0   1.64   1.64
C-10-0020   206.0   207.0   1.0   1.26   1.26
C-10-0021               NSR    
C-10-0022   67.5   68.4   0.9   1.65   1.65
C-10-0022   113.9   114.6   0.8   3.33   3.33
C-10-0022   189.5   191.1   1.6   2.37   2.37
* true widths unknown at this time
1 assays capped per Roberts, 2008 resource study

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Fig1KofiProjectRegionalPlan.pdf.

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Fig2KofiNorthCZoneSignificantIntercepts.pdf.

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