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Pershing Gold Closes Strategic Deal to Secure Exclusive Control of Lands Surrounding the Relief Canyon Mine

LAKEWOOD, Colo., April 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC), is pleased to announce it has closed the transaction announced last month with Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX:VIT-V). Completing this transaction has given Pershing Gold exclusive control of approximately 13,300 acres of unpatented mining claims and private lands surrounding Pershing Gold’s landholdings at the Relief Canyon Mine in Pershing County, Nevada.

Pershing Gold paid Victoria US$2 million, 10 million shares of Pershing Gold common stock, and 5 million two-year warrants exercisable for one share of Pershing Gold common stock at an exercise price of $0.60 per share.

The acquisition includes the interests of Victoria Resources (US), a subsidiary of Victoria Gold Corp, under Victoria’s 2006 mineral lease and sublease with Newmont USA Ltd. (the “2006 Lease”) (NYSE:NEM). The 2006 Lease covers approximately 8,900 acres of Newmont mining claims and private mineral rights and 62 mining claims staked by Victoria that are inside an Area of Interest (“AOI”) defined in the 2006 Lease. With respect to lands inside the AOI, Newmont has the option at any time until Pershing Gold delivers a positive feasibility study, and for a period of 90 days thereafter, to become 51% manager of a joint venture limited to the AOI lands, with Pershing Gold, upon payment to Pershing Gold of 250% of the expenditures on those lands since March 2006. If Newmont elects not to enter in a joint venture, Newmont conveys the leased properties to Pershing Gold, reserving a sliding scale 3-5% net smelter returns royalty (offset by underlying royalties) and the right to a $1.5 million production bonus payment.

This acquisition also includes approximately 4,420 acres of unpatented mining claims wholly-owned by Victoria outside the AOI. Victoria reserved a 2% NSR from the production from the mining claims located outside of the AOI. Other lands outside the AOI include approximately 11,450 acres of mining claims and millsites previously acquired by Pershing Gold in the Pershing Pass project and by Pershing Gold’s subsidiary, Gold Acquisition Corporation (GAC), at the Relief Canyon Mine.

A map featuring Pershing Gold’s land holdings and the 2006 Lease AOI is available at:

Since early March, Pershing Gold has completed two strategic land acquisitions that have significantly expanded its land position from just over 1,100 acres at the Relief Canyon Mine to over 24,000 acres of mining claims and private lands. As a result of this acquisition, Pershing Gold now controls, in addition to the approximately 8,900 acres inside the Newmont AOI, approximately 15,870 acres at Relief Canyon that lie outside the AOI.

“Most immediately, this landmark transaction consolidates the Relief Canyon Mine with the adjacent lands under lease and sublease from Newmont. For the first time in its development history, the Relief Canyon gold deposit is now controlled by one operator, Pershing Gold,” said Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold’s Executive Chairman, President, and CEO. “We intend to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to explore and develop the entire Relief Canyon deposit. We are optimistic that we can upgrade and expand the known resource at this under-explored gold deposit.”

“GAC has been drilling on its mining claims at the Relief Canyon Mine since acquiring the property in August 2011,” Alfers said. “The 2011 drilling results announced March 29, 2012 are very encouraging, with several holes encountering ore-grade mineralization. The 2012 Phase I drilling program is complete with results pending. Plans are underway to execute a step-out drilling program continuing exploration of these new gold intercepts as well as to test the lands acquired in the Victoria transaction. Additionally, Pershing Gold is developing an exploration program for the lands recently acquired in the Pershing Pass area south of the Relief Canyon Mine with the intent of advancing two targets in this frontier area to the drill ready-stage by year end.”

About Pershing Gold Corporation

Pershing Gold Exploration 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 in Pershing County is owned and operated by Gold Acquisition Corp., the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary.

Legal Notice and Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and 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 planned drilling and exploration programs, Newmont’s rights with respect to the “area of interest” properties” pursuant to the lease acquired from Victoria Gold, and opportunities to explore, develop and upgrade resources on the entire Relief Canyon mine deposit; 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; 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, 2010 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2011, June 30, 2011 and September 30, 2011, and each subsequently filed Current Report on Form 8-K, including the Company’s current Report on Form 8-K filed March 26, 2012. The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.

CONTACT: Stephen D. Alfers
         Executive Chairman, President and CEO
         Phone Number:  720.974.7248

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Source: Pershing Gold Corporation

Released April 13, 2012