Avion Gold Corp. said third-quarter production at its mines in Mali, West Africa was below expectations, as technical difficulties and heavy rains led to lower grade ore recovery.

The West Africa-focused company, which holds 80 percent of the Tabakoto and Segala gold projects in Mali, cut its 2011 output forecast to 95,000-100,000 ounces of gold. In July, the company forecast 100,000 ounces for the year.

For the third quarter, gold production was 21,687 ounces, below Avion's estimate of 26,100 ounces.

Avion Gold shares closed at C$2.08 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.