Avion Gold Corporation
TSX VENTURE : AVR

Avion Gold Corporation

July 02, 2008 09:00 ET

Avion Resources Commences Drill Program at Tabakoto and Segala Gold Projects in Mali

Higher Grade Gold Mineralization Confirmed at Tabakoto and Segala

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 2, 2008) - Avion Resources Corp. (TSX VENTURE:AVR) ("Avion"), 80% owner of the Tabakoto and Segala gold projects located in Mali, West Africa, today announced the commencement of a minimum 15,000 metre drill program and re-sampling of four drill holes that indicate potential for the definition of a higher grade underground-mineable resource.

Avion's plan for the Tabakoto and Segala projects include the execution of a drill program followed by an updated estimate for both the Tabakoto and Segala open-pit targets. This estimate, which is expected to give a more confident estimate of the grade and resource size, is due in the fourth quarter of 2008. Avion expects the resource to be the basis of a new mine plan and feasibility study, designed to facilitate re-commencement of the previously producing Tabakoto gold mining project in the second half of 2009.

"With the commencement of drilling, Avion's plan to re-initiate mining in the second quarter of 2009 is on track," commented Rene Bharti, President and CEO of Avion Resources Corp. "As well, the re-sampled results of the Dabo zone at the Tabakoto project further supports management's belief in the prospectivity of these properties and the expectation that Avion's current exploration program will enhance shareholder value."

Exploration drilling commenced on the Segala property on June 22 with one drill. A second drill is expected to be added to the property by the end of the week of June 30, 2008. One 212.0 metre hole has been completed with a second hole in progress. This drill program is designed to confirm previously estimated life-of-mine resources for the Tabakoto and Segala deposits and to test other targets identified on the property through geophysics conducted earlier in the year. Results from this program are expected to provide a better understanding of the gold mineralization on the property. Current drilling will assist Avion in verifying the size of the resource on the property and will identify which targets in the area also demonstrate resource potential. (For a property map identifying these test targets, please visit the Avion website at www.avionresources.com.)

Review of Tabakoto and Segala Projects

Avion is currently undertaking a review of work previously carried out on the Tabakoto and Segala properties by former owner Nevsun Resources Ltd. Avion is re-sampling select mineralized intercepts to verify the previous gold assays and to focus on the controls for the gold mineralization. Avion believes that four intercepts, located 250 metres south of the Tabakoto pit, form a coherent zone (Dabo Zone) of higher grade gold mineralization located along the margin of a larger porphyritic felsic intrusion. This zone, which has been traced for 180 metres down-dip and 35 metres along strike, is open down dip and along strike, with the potential to convert the initial open-pit targets to (high-grade) underground mines.

A summary of the re-sampling and previous results is listed in the following table. Avion's samples returned, on average, higher gold values than previous Nevsun sampling; this may be caused by the previously reported nugget nature of the gold mineralization, which can provide significant variability in assay results. A description of the assay and sampling procedures follows this table.



Core Assay Au g/t Assay Au g/t
Hole From To Width Nevsun Avion

T-212 142.4 146.4 4.00 m 3.82 2.72

T-213 177.1 179.5 2.45 m 5.39 13.85

T-104(i) 336.0 346.0 10.00 m 1.95 2.06

346.0 350.15 4.15 m 22.30

T-199 235.7 241 5.30 m 6.51 11.18

(i) Core was quartered and re-sampled by Nevsun with assays averaged.


Mineralized intervals in the holes reported above were examined and previous sample intervals were re-established and marked for sampling. Previously split core was quartered with the right-hand portion of the core put into plastic sample bags and sealed. Those portions of the core, previously quartered were not re-sampled. This sampling was carried out under the direct supervision of Avion's Senior Vice President of Exploration, Don Dudek. These samples were then delivered to a representative at ALS Chemex in Bamako. The samples were fine crushed to better than 70%-2mm, with a split off up to 250 grams and pulverize split to better than 85% passing 75 micron. To reduce contamination, since most samples were expected to contain material amounts of gold, barren sand washes were run through the crusher between samples. Gold values were determined by Fire Assay and AAS with a 50 gram nominal sample weight.

"The drill program is underway with over 10,000 metres of drill targets selected and the remaining targets to be defined by the end of July," stated Mr. Dudek. "Boart Longyear, the drill contractor, is performing well and is progressing faster than expected. Avion has secured the services of a team of geoscientists to support the drilling, compilation and on-going verification efforts, and the ALS Chemex laboratory has indicated that Avion can expect assay turn-around of about 72 hours. Given all this, management believes that there should be a continuous stream of drill results about every two weeks commencing in mid-July.

Tabakoto and Segala Projects History

Nevsun, the former owner of the Tabakoto and Segala projects, published a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Mali Projects. Based on these estimates and their feasibility mine production plan, Nevsun commenced mining operations at Tabakoto expecting 3.36 million tonnes of ore (assuming a gold price of $350/oz) would be processed at a rate of 650,000 tonnes per year, with a grade of 5.26 g/t of gold, to a depth of 210 metres at a 2.0 g/t gold cut-off grade. In addition, Segala was to contribute 3.98 million tonnes grading 2.99 g/t yielding 382,505 oz Au to the mill after mining at Tabakoto was completed. According to the plan, the Tabakoto mine was expected to yield approximately 567,544 ounces of gold at an average waste-to-ore ratio of 15.4:1 with ore and waste totaling 52 million tonnes. During production, Nevsun recovered approximately 100,000 ounces of gold at an averaged grade of 3.41 g/t of gold, representing an approximate 35% shortfall in expected ore grades at Tabakoto. In March 2007, Nevsun management concluded that in accordance with industry practice, a provision was required for impairment of the entire value of the Tabakoto property of $81,373,865. In September 2007, Nevsun announced that the Tabakoto Mine would be placed on care and maintenance. Stockpile ores were processed during the following two months and Nevsun completed the sale process for the Mali Projects to Avion on May 20, 2008.

Don Dudek, P.Geo. Avion's Senior VP Exploration is the Qualified Person for this news release as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and is responsible for the technical and scientific work carried out in this program and has reviewed and approved the information presented in this release.

About Avion Resources Corp.

Avion Resources is a Canadian-based exploration and development company focused on strategic acquisitions in Africa. Avion has a team of highly qualified geologists, as well as a strong operational team that is exploring various properties in the previously mentioned region. Avion currently holds 80% of the Tabakoto gold mine and the Segala gold deposit in Mali and 100% of an exploration project in Ethiopia that has a total land position of 4,400 square kilometers.

Cautionary Notes

This press release contains "forward looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company, the prospective mineralization of the properties, planned exploration programs, anticipated production schedule and terms, availability and likelihood of future acquisitions, and the prospective nature of the Tabakoto and Segala projects. 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: general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; reliance on contractors; the actual results of current exploration activities; ability to successfully integrate the purchased properties; foreign operations risks; and other risks of the mining industry. 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.

THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

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