Avion Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AVR) (OTCQX:AVGCF) has announced that underground mine development has commenced at its Tabakoto gold deposit in Mali, West Africa.
Development of the first of two planned portals, at the base of the Tabakoto pit, commenced on October 6, 2010. Avion's underground mining contractor, Byrnecut Mali SARL, and all necessary supplies for continuous development are on site.
Commenting on the start of underground mine development at Tabakoto, Mr. John Begeman, Avion's President and CEO, stated: "This achievement is an important milestone towards accessing higher grade ore and increasing gold production. Avion has been constructing infrastructure and preparing for underground development all year and it is very satisfying to see its plans come to fruition."
Avion has also signed capital lease agreements with Volvo Construction Equipment AB of Sweden and Amalgamated Mining Inc. of Canada for the supply of 12 underground haul trucks and a wheel loader, and two underground Caterpillar loaders, respectively. The purchase of this equipment will reduce future operating costs by decreasing the reliance on contractor-supplied mining equipment.
Source: Avion Gold Corporation