Pershing Gold Announces New Discovery at Relief Canyon

LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) is pleased to announce the discovery of a new zone of high-grade gold mineralization at the Relief Canyon Mine property in Pershing County, Nevada. Results of its 2012 Phase I drilling program show high-grade gold mineralization outside of the existing open-pit mine on unpatented mining claims wholly-owned by Pershing Gold’s subsidiary Gold Acquisition Corp. (“GAC”). In addition, drill-holes collared inside the current pit boundary also intercepted significant gold mineralization.

The new discovery hole (SBG12-D03) is located in the North Target Area to the north of the current pit boundary. Phase I drilling also extended known mineralization in the Southwest Target Area to the southwest of the current pit boundary. This drilling found mineralization that is open to both the north and the south.

“We are extremely pleased with these drilling results. Drill-hole SBG12-D03 is north of the pit and has a thick intercept of high-grade gold,” said Stephen Alfers, Pershing Gold’s Chairman and CEO. “This hole, taken together with SBG12-D04 and SBG12-D05, indicates substantial mineralization for at least 600 feet north of the North Pit, and likely extends much further. We are optimistic that following up this drilling will ultimately add ounces to the Relief Canyon resource and lead to a new mine plan to expand the open-pit mine.”

The 2011 and 2012 Phase I drilling program consisted of 5 reverse circulation holes and 15 core holes in total. The total footage of the combined 2011 and 2012 Phase I drilling program is 19,288 feet, including drilling previously reported in the Company’s North, Southwest and Range Front Target Areas (See press release dated March 29, 2012). Pursuant to its 2012 Phase I program, the Company has drilled 7 core holes totaling 6,842 feet in the North and Southwest Target Areas. The 2011 and 2012 Phase I drilling program concentrated entirely on lands 100% controlled by GAC. None of the drilling reported here was done on lands in the Area of Interest (“AOI”) described in the transaction closed April 5, 2011 with Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX-V:VIT-V) and Newmont USA Ltd. (NYSE:NEM) (See press release dated April 13, 2012).

Figure 1. – Map featuring Pershing Gold’s 2012 Phase I drill-hole locations and defined target areas is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/13712.pdf

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

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

Note: Reported width is not true width of interval. All of the results from the Phase I drilling program will be posted on the Company’s website.

Table 1 shows the significant intercepts from the 2012 Phase I drilling. Highlights of the drilling results include55 feet of 0.125 ounces per ton (opt) gold (Au) from 505 to 560 feet in drill-hole SBG12-D03 within fault and cave-fill breccias with abundant jasperoid clasts. Also significant are the gold intercepts in SBG12-D04 and SBG12-D05 on the northern edge of the North pit. These intercepts are below the mined-out main zone and show thick intervals (SBG12-D04 from 0 to 309 feet of 0.014 opt Au) of lower grade gold. As shown in Figure 2, SBG12-D04 and SBG12-DD05 are drilled from the same location, but at different dip angles. Management believes these drill-holes likely intercepted steeply dipping feeder or fault zones that are shown to vary from 10 to more than 100 feet in thickness. Pershing Gold technical staff are optimistic that ongoing drilling will continue to show expansion of mineralization beyond the current resource base.

Figure 2. – Cross-section 107N of the Relief Canyon Gold Project is available athttp://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/13713.pdf

North Target Area

In the North Target Area, the 2012 Phase I drilling results, coupled with holes drilled by previous operators, define significant stratigraphically and structurally controlled gold zones in the lower part of the Cane Springs formation. These results, which are illustrated in the cross section shown in Figure 2, include drill-holesSBG12-D05 with 112.9 feet of 0.016 opt Au and SBG12-D04 with 309 feet of 0.014 opt Au. The stratigraphically controlled gold-bearing zone, based on Phase I drilling and holes drilled by previous operators, appears to vary from about 40 to 100 feet in thickness. Preliminary geologic modeling shows this zone extending northward from the North Pit for about 1000 feet.

Southwest Target Area

Drill-holes SBG12-D01 and SBG12–D02 tested the western edge of this target area as shown in Figure 1. SBG12-D02 intercepted mineralized jasperoid and clay-rich breccia (Main Breccia Zone) at the contact between the Cane Springs and Grass Valley formations, with 38 feet of 0.075 opt Au. Drilling clearly shows ore grade mineralization 1000 feet south of the south pit. Phase II drilling will test this zone along trend for more than 2500 feet. Sporadic drill-holes completed by previous operators in this area suggest the Main Breccia Zone extends at least this far. Anomalous mineralization in SBG12-D01 indicates the main breccia zone of gold mineralization is east of drill-hole SBG12-D01.

“The 2011 and 2012 Phase I drilling program (See press release dated March 29, 2012) greatly enhances our understanding of the gold deposit at Relief Canyon and identifies several exciting exploration targets adjacent to the mine which the Company plans to test with additional core drilling in the coming months,” said Stephen Alfers. “We are planning an aggressive 2012 Phase II drilling program designed to add new ounces to the resource base. We plan to develop a revised resource estimate in early 2013,” Alfers said.

Next Phase

Building on the success of Phase I, the Company is now carrying out its Phase II 2012 drilling program at Relief Canyon, with an emphasis on identifying and testing targets on lands within the Pershing Gold-Newmont AOI. Results from this drilling are pending.

All scientific and technical information for the Relief Canyon project has been reviewed and approved by Quentin J. Browne, P.Geo, who is a Qualified Person under the definitions established by 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 quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures include the regular use of blanks, standards, and duplicate samples.

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 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, interpretations of exploration results and other geologic information 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.

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

Pershing Gold Corporation Logo

Source: Pershing Gold Corporation

Released May 10, 2012

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