Avion Gold Corporation has announced results for an additional 36 holes drilled in 2011 in the Vindaloo zone area, Houndé Project, Burkina Faso. Drill holes demonstrate the continuity of two parallel zones of gold mineralization, both along strike and to depth.
Highlights of the current drill program include the following intercepts:
- 2.2 g/t Au over 31.0 metres;
- 1.7 g/t Au over 32.9 meters;
- 7.7 g/t Au over 35.9 metres;
- 1.6 g/t Au over 58.3 metres;
- 2.2 g/t Au over 34.7 metres;
- 1.3 g/t Au over 43.0 metres;
- 2.2 g/t Au over 76.2 metres;
- 1.5 g/t Au over 47.2 metres;
- 3.1 g/t Au over 43.2 metres;
- 3.1 g/t Au over 25.5 metres;
- 2.5 g/t Au over 41.0 metres.
Avion's recent drilling focused on an approximately 1,600 metre long portion of the Vindaloo zone (see figure 2). Within this area, the mineralized zones have demonstrated good to excellent continuity both along strike and to a maximum depth of approximately 225 metres. In addition, drill hole H-11-44, extends the Vindaloo zone for another 100 metres to the north with an intercept of 1.16 g/t Au over 17.5 metres. This release presents assay data for 36 core holes and 20 reverse circulation ('RC') holes totaling approximately 10,696 metres of drilling. Assay data for an additional 20 holes is pending.
John Begeman, President and CEO of Avion, stated: "With the continued strong drill results from the Houndé property, management believes that the Houndé project will be Avion's next producer. In order to develop this belief management plans to commit to a significant exploration budget in 2012, which is expected to include a Preliminary Economic Assessment starting in late 2011 and close to 50,000 metres of drilling within the first six months of 2012."
Drilling at the Vindaloo zone has demonstrated the presence of two and perhaps three parallel zones of gold mineralization – Vindaloo, Vindaloo West and Vindaloo Far West and what are likely several cross-cutting zones of gold mineralization. The Vindaloo West zone, with intercepts of 2.2 g/t Au over 29.7 metres, is located approximately 75 metres west of the Vindaloo zone. It has been traced for 820 metres along strike and to approximately 125 metres depth and is open to depth. The Vindaloo West is hosted by mafic volcanics and locally gabbro, especially in the deeper holes on this zone.
The Vindaloo Far West zone has only been intersected by a few of the holes that tested the deeper portions of the Vindaloo zone. It is located approximately 150 metres west of the Vindaloo zone. Recent drilling has returned near surface intercepts of 3.59 g/t Au over 3.4 metres, 1.03 g/t Au over 9.0 metres and 1.21 g/t Au over 3.9 metres.
The Vindaloo zones are hosted by an intensely sericite- and silica-altered mafic intrusion and similarly-altered, intensely sheared and altered intermediate to mafic volcanoclastics. The mineralization is often quartz stockwork-style and is weakly to moderately pyritic. The entire mineralized package strikes north-northeast and dips steeply to the west to vertical.
The Vindaloo mineralized system can be traced for approximately 3.85 kilometres along strike and remains open in all directions. Additional potential for mineral resources occurs at the nearby Madras, Madras NW and Koho zones, all of which are open along strike and to depth and together strike for a total length of approximately 3.2 kilometres.
New gold mineralization was also intersected in hole RH11-58 which returned 1.71 g/t Au over 4.0 metres. Based on the IP data, this is a separate target structure and requires additional drilling to determine if this new zone has any size.
Don Dudek, Avion's Senior Vice President Exploration, stated: "The Houndé property, and in particular the Vindaloo area, provides Avion with a significant opportunity to discover and to define additional and new mineral resources. Our goal during the remainder of 2011 will be to complete a mineral resource update for the Houndé Property and to continue to define the gold-bearing zones along strike."
To date, 164 holes have been completed on the Hounde Property in 2011 with results returned for 144 of these holes. A program to infill the Vindaloo zone commenced in early July with about 85% of the initial, approximately 12,000 metre program completed. Two core rigs are dedicated to the in-fill program. More drill holes have being planned to develop inferred mineral resources. Additional Induced Polarization surveys are planned in 2011 to cover the inferred northern and southern strike extensions of the Vindaloo, Madras, Madras NW and Koho zones.
Avion's 2011 minimum 75,000 metre drill focused, US$ 16 million exploration program is well underway with 433 core and reverse circulation ('RC') holes totaling approximately 68,000 metres of drilling completed to date. Drilling completed consists of approximately 34,500 metres on Avion's Mali projects (Tabakoto and Kofi) and 30,360 metres on Avion's Burkina Faso property (Houndé). Currently there is a core drill rig active on the Kofi property, two core rigs active on the Houndé property and two core drill rigs and an RC rig active at the Tabakoto property.
Avion's procedures for handling core have been presented in previous news releases. Assays presented in the attached table have been capped at 30 g/t Au.
The mining industry in Burkina Faso is growing at a rapid rate due to a combination of a stable elected democratic government, excellent geology and a competitive fiscal regime. Currently six gold mines are in production or development in Burkina Faso (Essakane – IAMGOLD Corporation, Mana - SEMAFO, Inata – Avocet Mining PLC, Youga - Etruscan Resources Inc., Taparko – High River Gold Mines Ltd., Kalsaka – Cluff Gold PLC). In 2011, it is expected that Burkina Faso will become the fourth largest gold producing country in Africa. The country has legislated low taxes with a corporate tax rate of 20% for mining companies. The government is entitled to a 10% free carried interest and a competitive 3-5% sliding Royalty on gold production. Political and economic protests that occurred back in the spring of 2011 did not materially affect Avion's exploration program at the time and no new issues of concern have since arisen.