Pershing Gold Drill Program Expands and Upgrades Ore Grade Mineralization at Relief Canyon Mine

LAKEWOOD, Colo., July 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) announces results from the first 12 holes of its Phase II 2012 drilling program. Pershing Gold drilled 23 core holes (approximately 14,700 feet) on lands at the Relief Canyon Mine properties, completing its Phase II 2012 drilling. These holes are located west of the current pit boundary (Figure 1) on private lands that Pershing Gold leases from Newmont USA Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (“Newmont”) (NYSE:NEM).

Figure 1. A map featuring Pershing Gold’s Phase II 2012 Drilling Program is available at:https://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/14543.pdf

The company believes that the results from these 12 holes are significant, because they confirm the extension of the mineralized zone west of the Relief Canyon pit boundary and more than double the length of some of the gold intercepts in nearby reverse-circulation rotary holes drilled by previous operators. Results from the remaining 11 holes are expected later in the third quarter. Boart-Longyear, Ltd. and Ruen Drilling were the drilling contractors.

Pershing Gold’s 2012 drilling program was designed to further two objectives. “These results represent real progress toward our first goal to expand known mineralization and advance the Relief Canyon Mine towards production,” said Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold’s Executive Chairman and CEO, and added, “Our second goal is to generate targets and drill new discoveries on our 25,000 acre land position in the Humboldt Gold and Silver Trend in Nevada. Earlier this year we drilled new targets generated by our exploration group. Those results are pending.”

The 12 core holes that Pershing Gold completed tested deeper zones than previously tested. Pershing Gold’s deeper core holes, located near historic reverse circulation holes, have discovered gold zone intercepts thicker than the gold zone intercepts in the older reverse-circulation holes. A comparison of the results from RC12-017 with SPRC-140, which was drilled in 1984 by Southern Pacific Land Co., illustrates this point. SPRC-140 intercepted 100 feet of 0.44 grams per ton (gpt) (0.013 ounces per ton (opt) gold. RC12-017, which is roughly 35 feet west of SPRC-140, has intercepted 215 feet (from 220 to 435 feet) of 0.504 gpt (0.015 opt) gold (Figure 2).

Figure 2. A Cross Section featuring Pershing Gold’s Section 4551020N is available at:https://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/14542.pdf

In 2010 Mine Development Associates completed a Technical Report under Canadian National Instrument 43-101 for Firstgold Corporation, the previous owner of Relief Canyon Mine, reporting resources attributable to lands now controlled by Pershing Gold and its subsidiary Gold Acquisition Corp. (“GAC”). Alfers added, “We expect to develop our own resource estimate in the coming months. This estimate will include the results of the core drilling program on the expanded land position we now control. We expect these results will significantly upgrade and expand the resource attributable to the Relief Canyon Mine project.”

Significant intercepts for these drill holes are shown below in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of Gold Intercepts from the Phase II 2012 drilling program at Relief Canyon, Pershing County, Nevada.

Drillhole From To Length Au gpt Au opt Comments
feet
RC12-008 No significant intercepts, mineralization cut by post-mineral fault
RC12-009 Lost hole before main zone
RC12-010 239 244 5 0.341 0.010 Post-mineral faults
RC12-011 442 486.1 44.1 0.206 0.006
RC12-012 Weak mineralization Post-mineral faults
RC12-013 297 457 160 0.271 0.008
RC12-014 113 164.3 51.3 1.286 0.037
RC12-015 253 430 177 0.398 0.012
RC12-016 209 236.50 27.50 1.125 0.033
RC12-017 220 435.00 215.00 0.504 0.015
including 226.3 294.00 67.70 0.896 0.026
RC12-018 374 494 120 0.336 0.010
RC12-019 230.5 427.00 196.50 0.378 0.011
including 239 290.50 51.50 0.796 0.023

Reported width is not true width of interval. Results from all intercepts for which we have received and verified results will be posted on our website at www.pershinggold.com.

These 12 drill holes tested the main breccia zone on private land that Pershing Gold leases from Newmont (see Press Release, April 13, 2012).

In commenting on the significance of this recently completed core drilling program, Mr. Alfers stated, “This drilling program represents the first time the lands immediately west of the Relief Canyon Mine have been drilled in many years. A comparison of grades from the core holes with grades from nearby historic reverse circulation holes shows no obvious bias between gold grades from core drilling compared with grades from reverse circulation drilling.” Alfers explained the significance of this finding as follows: “The 2010 resource estimate eliminated ounces due to concerns about down-hole contamination below the water table. These results suggest little or no down-hole contamination. We expect results from our core drilling will validate the results from previous reverse-circulation drilling. This should enable us to include in our new resource estimate this portion of the deposit as well as mineralization that Pershing Gold has discovered elsewhere on the property since acquiring the Relief Canyon Mine in August 2011.”

The main gold zone at Relief Canyon is a breccia zone developed along the contact of the Grass Valley and Cane Springs Formations. Figure 2 is a cross-section through the open pit and shows the form of the breccia. Older drill holes shown on this section are primarily reverse circulation drill holes completed within the last 20 years. There are approximately 590 older drill holes in the database, and for simplicity of presentation, these older drill holes were not included in the plan map (Figure 1). The thick zone of mineralization shown in Figure 2 is open to the west.

Previous drilling in the Phase I 2012 drilling program by Pershing Gold (see Press Release of May 10, 2012) focused on feeder structures and deeper stratigraphic targets north and south of the pit on wholly-owned claims. Recent pit mapping has defined several steeply dipping, north-trending feeders. The intercepts reported earlier are shown again for comparison.

Table 2. Summary of previously announced gold intercepts from the Phase I 2012 drilling program at Relief Canyon, Pershing County, Nevada.

Drillhole From To Length Au gpt Au opt Comments
feet
SBG12-D01 no significant intercepts
SBG12-D02 253 291 38 2.56 0.075 Main Breccia
SBG12-D03 505 560 55 4.287 0.125 Feeder/Fault
including 525 530 5 14.650 0.428 Feeder/Fault
including 555 560 5 22.000 0.642 Feeder/Fault
SBG12-D04 0 309 309 0.486 0.014 lower breccia zone
479 524 45 1.279 0.037 lower strat zone
SBG12-D05 13 125.9 112.9 0.541 0.016 breccia zone
384.5 389 4.5 7.860 0.229 Feeder/Fault
440 483 43 0.806 0.024 lower strat zone
726.5 731.5 5 1.580 0.046 lower strat zone
SBG12-D06 31 46 15 0.329 0.010 base of main zone
SBG12-D07 no significant intercepts testing feeder zones

Reported width is not true width of interval. Results from all intercepts for which we have received and verified results will be posted on our website at www.pershinggold.com.

Mr. Alfers said, “The Phase II 2012 drilling program shows nearly 500 meters of ore grade mineralization east to west. Together with the Phase I 2012 drilling program completed earlier this year, our exploration group believes that the Phase II 2012 drilling program demonstrates that this mineralization is open to the west and to the north. Historic drilling also suggests the mineralization is open to the south of the existing pits.”

About Pershing Gold Corporation

Pershing Gold Corporation is a new gold exploration and development company focusing on acquiring, exploring, and developing gold deposits in Pershing County and elsewhere in Nevada. The Relief Canyon Mine property in Pershing County is owned by its subsidiary, GAC.

Legal Notice and Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those with respect to the objectives, plans and strategies of the Company set forth herein including the anticipated exploration on Pershing Gold’s Relief Canyon landholdings, results of drilling, interpretations of exploration results and other geologic information at Relief Canyon, planned completion of a new Canadian National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource report at Relief Canyon and those preceded by or that include the words “believes,” “expects,” “given,” “targets,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “projects,” “forecasts” or similar expressions, are “forward-looking statements.” Although the Company’s management believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that such expectations are, or will be, correct. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s future results to differ materially from those anticipated. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, inability to obtain external financing to fund planned exploration or maintain property rights, reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results, inability to obtain permits required for its planned exploration and other activities, general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which the Company operates; the uncertainty of regulatory requirements and approvals; fluctuating mineral and commodity prices; risks of junior exploration and pre-production activities; and maintenance of important business relationships. Additional information regarding the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements is available in the Company’s filings with the SEC including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and each subsequently filed Current Report on Form 8-K. The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.

Scientific and Technical Data

All scientific and technical information for the Relief Canyon project has been reviewed and approved by Robert B Hawkins, P.Geo, who is a Qualified Person under the definitions established by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Drill core at Relief Canyon is boxed and sealed at the drill rig and moved to the Relief Canyon logging and sample preparation facilities by trained personnel. The core is logged and split down the center using a typical table-fed circular rock saw. One half of the core is sent for assay to ALS Chemex, Reno, Nevada, while the other half is returned to the core box and stored at Relief Canyon in a secure, fenced-off, area. Pershing Gold Corporation’s quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures include the regular use of blanks, standards, and duplicate samples.

CONTACT: Stephen D. Alfers, Executive Chairman, President and CEO
         Phone Number: 720.974.7248
         Email: Info@pershinggold.com
         www.PershingGold.com

Pershing Gold Corporation Logo

Source: Pershing Gold Corporation

Released July 12, 2012

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