AuRico Gold Inc. is pleased to report that open pit pre-production development has commenced at Young-Davidson with the Company successfully completing its first open pit blast on Thursday,  November 17, 2011.

Commissioning of the Young-Davidson mine project remains on schedule with the first gold pour anticipated for the end of March 2012.

The Young-Davidson open pit is expected to establish an ore stockpile of between 500,000 and 750,000 tonnes ahead of the mill prior to commissioning, and to produce ore for up to three years while
the underground ramps up to full production. The Company has initiated engineering studies to analyze whether underground production can be commenced earlier than the original target of Q1 2014. In addition, the Company is also evaluating the potential to increase mine and mill production beyond the 6,000 tonnes per day envisioned in the original feasibility study. Results of these new engineering studies are expected to be available by the end of Q1 2012.

Construction of the Young-Davidson mine is well advanced and remains on schedule. All of the critical components have been delivered and mechanical and electrical installations are proceeding as
planned. Some highlights include:

. Pre-production development work at the open pit has been initiated and is expected to average 25,000 tonnes per day of ore and waste through to plant commissioning
. Underground development for the mid-shaft loading pocket is proceeding on schedule
. Deepening of the main ramp, sinking of the MCM shaft and construction of the headframe on the Northgate production shaft are all progressing on schedule
. All orders for underground mining equipment required for the 2012 development program have been placed and delivery remains on schedule
. Mill construction is progressing as planned, with the mill building fully enclosed and mechanical and electrical installation progressing on schedule
. The 54 km, 115kV power line to the mine site is expected to be energized by the end of November
. Construction of the tailings impoundment area is expected to be completed by the end of November, and ready to receive mill startup water
. Construction of ancillary facilities such as the warehouse, administration building, laboratory, truck shop, and storage ponds are either complete or well underway

It is expected that the 2012 exploration budget will be doubled in an effort to add new resources and reserves, particularly at the YD West zone where recent drilling identified an indicated resource of
536,000 gold ounces1 and an inferred resource of 53,000 gold ounces1. The exploration program will also include follow-up drilling on other previously identified targets on this highly prospective property.

“We are excited to have reached this significant milestone, bringing Young-Davidson closer to production. While we continue to advance Young-Davidson, we are concurrently reviewing initiatives
that will not only support a potential increase in production from the original design levels but also improve mining recoveries while reducing mining dilution,” stated Peter MacPhail, Chief Operating
Officer, Canada and Australia. “With AuRico’s strong balance sheet and robust cash flow, we can advance the engineering and exploration programs to fully leverage the potential of this cornerstone

The 100% owned Young-Davidson mine project, located in northern Ontario, has proven and probable gold reserves of 2.7 million ounces2.

About AuRico Gold

AuRico Gold is a leading intermediate Canadian gold and silver producer with a diversified portfolio of high quality mines and projects in Canada, Mexico and Australia. The Company currently has five
operating properties including the Ocampo mine in Chihuahua State, the El Chanate mine in Sonora State, the El Cubo mine in Guanajuato State, as well as the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines in
Victoria, Australia. The first production from the exciting Young-Davidson gold mine in northern Ontario is expected by the end of Q1 2012 as the mine ramps up to over 200,000 ounces of annual production by 2015. AuRico’s strong pipeline of development and exploration stage projects includes advanced development properties in Mexico and British Columbia and several highly prospective exploration properties in Mexico. AuRico’s head office is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For further information please visit the AuRico Gold website at or contact:

Peter MacPhail

Chief Operating Officer

Canada and Australia

AuRico Gold Inc.


Anne Day

Director of Investor Relations

AuRico Gold Inc.