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Avion brings in engineering outfit Genivar to oversee doubling in mine throughput in Mali

Junior gold producer Avion Gold  (TSX-V: AVR, OTCQX: AVGCF) has hired Montreal based Genivar Limited to implement a doubling in the company`s plant throughput to 4,000 tonnes per day. The plant expansion announced today is due to be completed in 2012.

In July, Avion processed 59,800 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 4.84 grams per tonne gold, with a 94.3% mill recovery, for gold production of 8,770 ounces at the Tabakoto and Segala Gold Projects in Mali. Third quarter production remains forecast to be approximately 20,000 ounces of gold. Avion is expecting to produce between 75,000 and 85,000 ounces of gold from the 80% owned projects in Mali in 2010, but has ambitions to take the company`s total output to 200,000 ounces per annum by 2012.

As part of this ambition, the Avion is in the midst of a 60,000 meter drill program designed to significantly boost resources at its exploration acreage surrounding the current operations in Mali, and additionally add resources at its 1,670 km2 property  Hounde exploration property in Burkina Faso, which was recently acquired from London listed Avocet Mining.

In May, Avion tapped the market for approximately CAD$29 million (gross) at 60 cents per share to help fund its aggressive exploration and development plans in West Africa.  Avion reported an updated measured and indicated resource for the Segala Gold Project of approximately 11.4 million tonnes grading 3.7 grams per tonne gold  (1.43 million ounces gold) at the beginning of 2010.  A updated resource for Tabakoto is expected during the current quarter.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company