Avion has hired Richard Allan as vice-president of mining
operations. He has experience as senior director of mining at
Barrick Gold (ABX-T, ABX-N), and is expected to assist in the
company’s expanded production activities at the Tabakoto-Segala
mine, as well as plans to bring its Malian Kofi gold project into
development next year.
“We needed some additional support at site as the company begins to transition from a one-mine operation to
a multi-mine operation,
” Dudek explains. “We do plan on
bringing the Kofi project into production next year. We have the
three pits that are in production right now, and we’re adding the
two underground operations.”
Avion increased indicated resources at Kofi by 71% earlier this
year to 6.9 million tonnes grading 2.25 grams gold for 500,000
contained oz. gold. Inferred resources increased 90% to 12.4
million tonnes carrying 1.77 grams gold for 702,000 contained oz.
During 2011 Avion posted record earnings of US$43 million, or 10¢
per share, with revenues totalling US$144 million on the back of
rising gold prices. It produced 91,200 oz. gold at total cash costs
of US$746 per oz. and generated cash flow before working capital
adjustments of US$67.5 million, with US$21.2 million cash-in-hand
to end the year.
Avion anticipates capital expenditures totalling US$120 million for
2012, including upgrades at the Tabakoto-Segala operation and an
US$11.4-million exploration program designed to expand the existing
resource bases at Tabakoto-Segala and Kofi.
The company is also aiming to complete a preliminary economic
assessment on its Hounde gold project in Burkina Faso, scheduled
for release in the fourth quarter.