Avion Gold Corp TSX:AVR announced assays from the Vindaloo Zone of its Houndé Project in Burkina Faso. Results include
3.74 g/t gold over 61 metres
4.86 g/t over 38.5 metres
3.75 g/t over 44.9 metres
2.52 g/t over 47 metres
(including 3.69 g/t over 23 metres)
3.03 g/t over 35.2 metres
2.2 g/t over 30.4 metres
2.31 g/t over 21.1 metres
11.6 g/t over 4.5 metres
Avion also holds an 80% interest in two open-pit gold producers in Mali, the Tabakoto and Segala projects. The Mali government holds the remaining 20%. The company is currently developing underground operations at both mines.
Avion’s a growth story. We’re going to be doubling our production and, with some other mines potentially coming online, we could increase our production further—Michael McAllister
IR Manager Michael McAllister tells ResourceClips.com, “We’re working toward a resource update on the Vindaloo-Houndé property. We’re releasing the results as they come in to give people an idea of what we’re dealing with here. Our goal is to have a million-ounce resource released just before Christmas. If we can do that, we’re looking to do a PEA and hopefully feasibility. Our goal is to have that as a producing mine in three to four years’ time.
“It’s been a very prolific zone; we’ve had a lot of success there. It’s just 60 kilometres south of SEMAFO’s [TSX:SMF] Mana Mine and we’re on the same trend. So we’re having some great success, and the infrastructure’s terrific. There’s a main highway that runs right through the property, and a high-tension power line is close by. So we really like the location, and the grades that we’re finding are very exciting too,” he says.
“Mali is also moving along nicely. We’re putting in a new mill as we speak. It’s going to help us double our capacity. We’ll commission that by the end of 1Q. By the time we work out the bugs, we’ll be at a 200,000-ounce run rate probably around the middle to end of 2Q. Next year, we’re forecasting about 160,000 ounces and then 200,000 going forward.
“We’ve just about finished the underground development at Tabakoto, so we’ll probably start stoping there in early January. The underground development at Segala started a little late because, after some engineering studies, they decided to move the portal to a different location to avoid any pit wall problems later on. So that started a bit later, but that’s not a problem because we have a lot of open-pit feed, and we’re developing other open-pit deposits, like Djambaye II.
“Segala will probably come online by the end of the third quarter next year, so at that point we’ll have two undergrounds and several open-pit targets as well.
“The initial plan was to have almost all the mill feed come from the two undergrounds,” McAllister adds. “But open pit is cheaper, and we have several targets. So we’ll keep the open pits there, and it’ll be a blend of the two. If there are any issues in the underground, we’ll have the open pits to draw on,” he points out.
“Segala is about seven kilometres from the mill at Tabakoto. The Dioulafoundou Deposit, which is where we’re mining now, is about four-and-a-half kilometres away. The new property that we have up to the north, the Kofi Property that we purchased from AXMIN [TSXV:AXM], is about 38 kilometres. That’s an early-days project. We’ve had some good success with our drilling there as well. It did have a resource of 670,000 ounces when we bought it, and we’re hoping to add to that when we update our resource towards the end of this year. We’ll probably do more drilling next year, and if we find enough, there could be a standalone mill there. If not, we can truck it down to Tabakoto.
“We have strong institutional investment,” he adds. “Eric Sprott owns about 16%, Sentry Investments about 14%, Fidelity Asset Management about 12%. Overall, we’re about 75% institutionally owned.”
McAllister concludes, “I think it’s a good time to get involved with us. Avion’s a growth story. We’re going to be doubling our production and, with some other mines potentially coming online, we could increase our production further. We’re working on several great exploration targets. We did have some setbacks in the last quarter, but we worked through them, so it’s a great time to get in right now. There’s a lot to look forward to with Avion.”
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by Greg Klein