Avion increases 2012 production guidance and provides an operational update
Thursday, Jul 05, 2012Avion Gold Corporation (TSX:AVR)(OTCQX:AVGCF) ("Avion" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that is has increased its production guidance to between 95,000 and 102,000 ounces of gold for 2012. The mill has delivered solid performance and the underground mining at Tabakoto has been a strong contributor with better than expected grades and recoveries and lower than planned dilution.
John Begeman, President and CEO of Avion stated "Management is pleased with how well the Tabakoto operations performed in the second quarter with higher than forecast grades and budgeted mill recoveries. As a result of this strong operational performance during the first half of 2012, Avion has increased its 2012 production guidance. As well, Avion is confident that in the improved business climate, it makes sense to re-start the mill capacity upgrade as soon as practical."
The Company is also pleased to report that the political situation in Mali has stabilized and as such the Canadian government has reduced its warning advisory by one level in the southern part of Mali, where the Tabakoto Mine is located. In spite of an occasionally challenging operating environment, Avion has continued to operate and produce gold during the coup in Mali thanks to strategic fuel and parts supply inventory levels. Operations at Tabakoto and exploration at Tabakoto and Kofi are proceeding in the normal course. With an interim government in place in Mali and elections promised within the year, stability has returned for the most part in the southern part of the county, leading to the reduction in travel advisories. Avion continues to receive its fuel shipments and supplies are arriving from outside of the country as the customs and imports offices work to rebuild their systems post coup.
The mill expansion, which was delayed when foreign contractors left site during the coup, is anticipated to resume in the latter part of 2012 or early 2013. The Company is negotiating with contractors and necessary parties to return to site as soon as possible, however it will take some time to be able to remobilize teams to the site to recommence the construction. All parts and supplies to complete the mill expansion have now arrived at site.