Avion Announces Updated Mineral Resource & Mineral Reserve at Tabakoto Project, Mali of 827,100 Ounces of Gold
TORONTO - Avion is a Canadian-based gold mining company focused in West Africa. The Company holds 80% of the Tabakoto and Segala gold projects in Mali. Additionally, a new, 1,670 km2 exploration property in Burkina Faso is expected to return good results from an ongoing drill program. The longer term goal of the Company is to ramp production to a 200,000 ounce run-rate in 2012. Avion has a highly skilled management team, with a focus on growth and consolidation within West Africa. Avion Gold Corporation is pleased to announce its updated mineral resource and mineral reserve estimation for nine deposit groups and several ore stockpiles that comprise the Tabakoto Project in Mali, West Africa. The mineral reserves and mineral resource estimates have been determined as of January 1, 2012, with highlights as follows:
- Tabakoto Project underground Proven and Probable mineral reserves comprise 4,606,000 tonnes grading 4.49 g/t Au for 664,600 ounces of gold.
- Tabakoto Project open pit and stockpiled Proven and Probable mineral reserves comprise 2,300,000 tonnes grading 2.20 g/t Au for 162,500 ounces of gold.
- Total mineral reserves comprise 6,906,000 tonnes grading 3.73 g/t Au for 827,100 ounces of gold.
- Total post-reserve additional Measured and Indicated mineral resources comprise 1,964,000 tonnes at 4.62 g/t Au containing 292,100 ounces of gold.
- Total additional Inferred mineral resources comprise 7,598,000 tonnes at 4.57 g/t Au containing 1,117,400 ounces of gold.
Avion’s pre-reserve Measured and Indicated mineral resources of 6,772,000 tonnes grading 5.12 g/t Au totaling 1,118,900 ounces of goldrepresents a 3.6% increase in grade and a 4.9% decrease in overall ounces from the previous Measured and Indicated mineral resource estimate. The current Inferred mineral resources of 7,598,000 tonnes grading 4.57 g/t Au totaling 1,117,400 ounces of gold represent an 11.5% increase in grade and a 7.4% increase in overall ounces as compared to the previous Inferred mineral resource estimate. Overall, year over year, total estimated mineral resources increased by 0.9% or approximately 30,000 ounces from 2011 to 2012 even after production of 91,200 ounces of gold in 2011.
Updated mineral reserves, based on the above Measured and Indicated mineral resources total 6,906,000 tonnes grading 3.73 g/t Au for 827,100 ounces of gold. Avion’s underground reserves at 664,500 ounces of gold have remained essentially the same while the open pit reserves have been depleted by mining as was expected. The Company’s annual goal is to replace or increase the mineral reserves that have been depleted by mining. Current mineral reserves were derived from the current Measured and Indicated mineral resources which are presented, pre-reserve, in a table at the end of this news release.
John Begeman, President and CEO, commented: “The gold resource grades we see at Tabakoto are some of the best in West Africa and again highlights why Avion has chosen to focus in this part of Mali and why we can continue to build value through the drill bit. The Company has over three years of operating experience at the Tabakoto Project, and has demonstrated that the mine is profitable. Additionally, Avion is working toward defining initial reserves on the nearby Kofi property in 2012 where Avion has defined an Indicated mineral resource of 500,000 ounces of gold, and an Inferred mineral resource of 702,000 ounces of gold.”
Compared to Avion’s previous reserve statement on July 5, 2011, post reserve, Measured and Indicated mineral resources have increased 95% from 149,100 ounces of gold to 292,100 ounces of gold and the grade of the resources has increased by 35%.
During the first four months of 2012, Avion updated the mineral resource estimates of the Tabakoto NW, Tabakoto NE, Tabakoto South, Djambaye II and Ségala NW zones as well as defined new mineral resources for the Ségala Main West zone. Mineral resource estimates, developed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc., after production drawdown, for the Ségala Main, Dioulafoundou and Tabakoto M zones, have not been updated since May 3, 2011, when last stated as there has been no new drilling since the last resource estimate.
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