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Pershing Gold Corporation Assembles Expert Team to Lead Exploration

NEW YORK, March 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB: trading symbol to be determined) announced today that highly experienced geologist, Larry Hillesland, has joined the Company as Vice President of Exploration and Development. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Hillesland has played a key role in the discovery of several gold systems: McDonald Meadows in Montana; Nixon Fork in Alaska; Candameña in northern Mexico; and adding indicated ounces to Kinross’ Kupol Project in Russia. He also defined the 1 billion pound leachable copper deposit at Hanover Mountain in New Mexico. Mr. Hillesland has a B.S. in Geology from the University of Idaho and a Master’s degree from Oregon State University.

The Company has also added three consultants, Robert Casaceli, Quentin Browne, and Debra Struhsacker to provide the Company with expert geologic and environmental permitting advice. This team of experts has a proven track record of discovering gold deposits, managing successful mineral exploration programs, and developing and implementing effective permitting strategies to secure state and federal permits in a timely manner.

Robert Casaceli’s career spans more than 38 years during which he has worked in over 50 countries and held executive positions with several companies including Franco-Nevada Corporation, Franc-Or Resources, and Euro-Nevada Mining Corporation. He has extensive experience with the geology in the vicinity of the Relief Canyon Mine based on his role as a key member of a geologic team that discovered new mineralization at the nearby Standard Mine. Casaceli has a B.S. in Geology from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree from Oregon State University.

Quentin J. Browne has more than 25 years of professional experience in precious and base-metal exploration and mining in the western US, Mexico, South America and eastern Canada. He has a BA degree in Geology from the California State University, Chico and a M.S. in Economic Geology from the University of Idaho. He has worked for several major mining companies including Noranda, Rio Algom, Asarco, and Teck Cominco in underground and open-pit operations for copper, gold, and industrial minerals. Mr. Browne has designed and supervised regional exploration programs and participated in economic evaluations of advanced-stage mineral properties. He has published papers on porphyry copper mineralization and co-authored several publications addressing diverse topics of Nevada geology and metal deposits.

Debra Struhsacker has over 30 years of experience providing mining industry clients with executive-level advice on environmental permitting, government relations, and stakeholder involvement issues. She is well known for her expertise on many policy matters important to the U.S. mining industry and her effective advocacy on behalf of mineral exploration and development companies. She has successfully permitted many exploration and mining projects in Nevada and elsewhere. With degrees in geology and French from Wellesley College and a M.Sc. in geology from the University of Montana, she has a unique background that allows her to integrate technical, regulatory, and political considerations into effective permitting strategies.

In announcing the addition of Hillesland, Casaceli, Browne, and Struhsacker, Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold’s Executive Chairman, CEO, and President said, “I am pleased to add these key players to Pershing Gold’s technical team and senior management. They bring a wealth of expertise to the Company that will help us achieve our near-term objective to expand and upgrade the Relief Canyon resource. Additionally, they will be responsible for identifying and testing new gold exploration targets in the 9,700 acres of claims the Company recently acquired in the under-explored district near Relief Canyon, an area we believe to hold great potential for the discovery of new mineral deposits.”

About Pershing Gold Corporation

Pershing Gold Corporation is a junior gold exploration company focused on seeking out and developing significant gold exploration and development targets in Nevada.

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 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: 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 June 30, 2011 and September 30, 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, CEO and President
         Phone Number: 720.974.7248

Source: Pershing Gold Corporation

Released March 15, 2012