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Pershing Gold Reports Significantly Higher Gold Grades in New Lower Zone Drilling Results at Relief Canyon

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LAKEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCQB:PGLC) ("Pershing Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce results of its 2013 drilling program at its Relief Canyon Mine property. All seven of the holes reported herein that drilled into the Lower Zone of the Relief Canyon deposit have intercepts with gold grades that are significantly higher than our January 2013 resource estimate. The January 2013 resource estimate reported average gold grades of 0.643 grams per tonne ("gpt ") gold ("Au") /0.0188 ounces per ton ("opt") Au for the NI 43-101 compliant Measured and Indicated gold resource.

Additionally, six of the seven Lower Zone holes shown in Table 1 contain gold intercepts that exceed the average grade of the ore mined in the late 1980s. According to the 2007 NI 43-101 Technical Report prepared for the previous owner, Firstgold Corp. ("Firstgold"), the average ore grade previously mined was roughly 1.028 gpt/0.03 opt Au.

The ten holes shown in Table 1 are diamond core holes recently drilled as part of the ongoing 2013 drilling program at the Relief Canyon Mine. Highlights of these results include:

RC13-133: 177.8 feet of 2.037 gpt/0.059 opt Au,
RC13-129: 39.0 feet of 1.701 gpt/0.05 opt Au and 149.35 gpt/4.36 opt silver,
RC13-132: 55 feet of 1.144 gpt/0.033 opt Au,
RC13-135: 48.9 feet of 1.644 gpt/0.048 opt Au

Figure 1 shows the drill hole locations.

"The higher gold grades in these Lower Zone intercepts mean that Relief Canyon is getting better, and it is getting bigger. We have an opportunity to substantially increase the overall grade of the Relief Canyon deposit compared to the deposit mined in the 1980s," stated Stephen Alfers, Pershing Gold's Chairman and CEO. "Additionally, because the January 2013 resource estimate included only a limited part of the Lower Zone, this estimate does not reflect the higher gold grades we are now finding in the Lower Zone. We thus expect a significant increase in the size and grade of the Relief Canyon resource when the 2013 Lower Zone drilling is incorporated into an updated resource estimate."

Table 1
Summary of Drill Results
  From To Length Gold Silver
        gpt opt gpt opt
Lower Zone Intercepts
RC13-129 210.0 288.0 78.0 0.904 0.026 75.00 2.19
including 249.0 288.0 39.0 1.701 0.05 149.35 4.36
RC13-130 561.8 597.1 35.3 1.117 0.033 6.14 0.18
RC13-132 400 455 55 1.144 0.033 11.60 0.34
RC13-133 237.8 415.6 177.8 2.037 0.059 5.77 0.17
including 321.3 364 42.7 6.690 0.194 19.31 0.56
including 339 347 8 23.379 0.678 35.81 1.05
including 405 415.6 10.1 4.207 0.122 4.17 0.12
RC13-134 255.2 301 45.8 0.966 0.028 1.83 0.05
RC13-135 311.1 377.5 66.4 1.226 0.036 3.53 0.10
including 311.1 360.0 48.9 1.644 0.048 4.59 0.13
RC13-136 299.9 313.6 13.7 0.925 0.027 5.45 0.16
Jasperoid Intercepts
RC13-127 506.4 533.0 26.6 0.377 0.011 3.46 0.10
RC13-128 703.0 715.0 12.0 0.666 0.019 1.35 0.04
including 713.0 715.0 2.0 3.368 0.098 2.00 0.06
RC13-129 432.5 581.0 148.5 0.437 0.013 1.93 0.06
including 432.5 441.0 8.5 0.869 0.025 5.95 0.17
including 548.0 581.0 33.0 1.090 0.032 3.25 0.10
RC13-129 738.0 801.0 63.0 0.318 0.009 1.98 0.06
including 795.4 801.0 5.6 2.077 0.061 16.74 0.49
RC13-132 530 535 5 1.144 0.033 <0.5 <0.015
RC13-133 536 625.2 89.2 0.969 0.028 3.88 0.11
including 546 571.5 25.5 2.793 0.081 10.10 0.29
RC13-135 408.0 520.6 112.6 0.486 0.014 3.56 0.10
including 413.0 455.5 42.5 0.753 0.022 5.03 0.15
RC13-136 390 622.2 232.2 0.647 0.019 3.50 0.10
including 564.5 622.2 57.7 1.919 0.056 7.41 0.22
Main Zone
RC13-129 120.2 172.0 51.8 0.340 0.010 1.95 0.06
RC13-130 345.8 377.8 32.0 0.421 0.012 4.22 0.12
RC13-131 0 37 37 0.393 0.011 3.54 0.10
RC13-133 26.3 44 17.7 0.517 0.015 0.62 0.02
RC13-136 99.6 104.8 5.2 0.616 0.018 0.90 0.27
RC13-136 149.3 175.4 26.1 0.554 0.016 4.56 0.13
Notes: 1. The reported width is not the true width of the intercept.
  2. The cumulative footage for these ten holes is approximately 6,600 feet.
  3. Results from all intervals for which we have received and verified results will be posted on our website at

The 2013 drilling program drilled 16 additional holes for which assay data are not yet available. Visual examination of the core from these holes suggests that a number of these holes penetrated Lower Zone mineralization. The Company plans to announce results for the remaining holes when the assay data become available. 

As shown in Figure 1, eight of the ten holes in Table 1 were drilled north of the North Pit, with many collared east of previously reported drilling. Two holes, RC13-131 and RC13-132, were drilled in the North Pit and successfully drilled into gold mineralization below the current pit bottom.

The gold intercept in RC13-132 shows that the Lower Zone underlies the North Pit and extends the length of the Lower Zone approximately 200 feet south of the previously reported area of the Lower Zone. With this discovery, the Lower Zone is about 1,300 feet long and ranges from 700 to 1,200 feet wide. The boundaries of the Lower Zone remain open to the north, south, and east.

In commenting on the significance of the Lower Zone intercept in the North Pit, Stephen Alfers stated, "We believe additional drilling in the North Pit will demonstrate that the Lower Zone has continuity underneath the current pit bottom and is likely to contain gold mineralization similar to the Lower Zone intercepts north of the North Pit." The Company is planning to conduct additional drilling in the North Pit to define the extent of the Lower Zone beneath the pit. 

Six of the drill holes shown in Table 1 have gold intercepts associated with jasperoids that are similar to the black jasperoid, clay and fluorite mineral assemblage described in RC13-119 in our September 19, 2013 press release.

As shown in the cross section in Figure 2, the gold-mineralized jasperoids lie beneath the Lower Zone. Two of the holes in Table 1 contain significant intervals of high-grade gold. For example, the jasperoid intercept in RC13-133 contains 25.5 feet of 2.793 gpt Au/0.081 opt Au; RC13-136 has 57.7 feet with 1.919 gpt Au/0.056 opt Au. Pershing geologists have identified jasperoid during core logging of some of the 16 holes for which assay data are pending.

"The tabular, low-angle geometry of the Lower Zone and the underlying gold-mineralized jasperoids is very favorable because there is potential for continuity and a significant volume of gold-mineralized material that will be amenable to open-pit mining," said Stephen Alfers. "We anticipate that the assay results for the remaining 16 holes drilled this year will show strong gold mineralization in both the Lower Zone and in the sub-parallel jasperoids."  

The results emerging from the 2013 drilling program to date indicate that the grades of gold-bearing clay intervals in the historic drilling database may be underestimated. Several of the recently drilled core holes were drilled near reverse-circulation rotary holes drilled by previous owners that include gold intercepts associated with clays. When compared to the reverse-circulation rotary results, the gold assays from the 2013 core holes typically have higher grades in the clay zones.

For example, RC13-130 is collared about 10 feet south of NT08-06, a reverse-circulation rotary hole that Firstgold drilled in 2008. RC13-130 has 35.3 feet of 1.117 gpt/0.0333 opt Au. In comparison, NT08-06 contained 35 feet of 0.29 gpt/0.008 opt Au. Similarly, the Lower Zone intercept in RC13-133 (42.7 feet of 6.69 gpt/0.194 opt Au) is roughly 40 feet west of the Lower Zone intercept in DH-9630, a reverse-circulation rotary hole drilled in 1996, which contained 45 feet of 0.171 gpt/0.005 opt Au. The Company believes that this finding could be significant because clay minerals are widespread throughout the Relief Canyon deposit.

Pershing Gold's geologists think the reason that the core holes have higher-grade intercepts in the clay zones compared to nearby reverse-circulation rotary holes is due to the greater volumes of water typically used during reverse-circulation rotary drilling compared to diamond core drilling. The larger volumes of drilling fluids may have partially washed away some of the fine-grained, gold-bearing clays in the reverse-circulation rotary holes. If this hypothesis is correct, the higher-grade assays in the clay zones in the core holes would be more representative of the actual grade of these mineralized intervals.

"Based on these new drilling results, we think there is significant potential for higher gold grades throughout the Relief Canyon deposit," said Stephen Alfers. "As previously reported in our September 19, 2013 press release, the historic drill hole database for the reverse-circulation rotary holes drilled over the past 30 years includes numerous high-grade gold intercepts. Future core drilling near these reverse-circulation rotary holes may discover higher gold grades."

The Company is preparing an application to seek authorization from the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") to drill more holes to test the extent of the Lower Zone and the jasperoids to the north, south, east, and west of the holes shown in Figure 1. Once the BLM approves this drilling, Pershing Gold is planning to drill at about 20 new sites. The Company has sufficient financial resources to pursue this planned drilling program and estimates these additional holes will cost approximately $500,000.

About Pershing Gold

Pershing Gold is an emerging Nevada gold producer uniquely positioned to create shareholder value by fast-track reopening of the Relief Canyon Mine, which includes three open-pit mines and a state-of-the-art, fully permitted and constructed heap leach processing facility. Pershing Gold's landholdings cover over 25,000 acres that include the Relief Canyon Mine asset and lands surrounding the mine in all directions. This land package provides Pershing Gold with the opportunity to expand the Relief Canyon Mine deposit and to explore and make new discoveries on nearby lands.

Scientific and Technical Data

All scientific and technical information related to drill and surface samples 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 Inspectorate America Corp., Sparks, 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/quality control (QA/QC) procedures include the regular use of blanks, standards, and duplicate samples.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Regarding Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated" and "inferred resources", that are defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101; however these terms are not recognized under the U.S. SEC Industry Guide 7. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any or all of measured, indicated or inferred resources are economically or legally mineable or that these resources will ever be converted into reserves. "Inferred mineral resources" have a high degree of uncertainty as to their existence and it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings. You can review and obtain copies of these filings from the SEC's website at

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, are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, those with respect to the objectives, plans and strategies of the Company set forth herein including the planned and potential future drilling and other exploration on Pershing Gold's Relief Canyon property, results of drilling and anticipated timing of additional drilling and results, interpretations and significance of exploration results and other geologic information at Relief Canyon, potential for a significantly higher-grade deposit than the previously mined mineralization or that reported in the January 2013 resource estimate; anticipated expansion of the resource at the Relief Canyon properties and an updated resource estimate. 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 the Company's future activities including maintaining its land position, interpretations, changes in interpretation or reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results or failure of future results to confirm the significance of the current drilling results in the Lower Zone, delays in obtaining exploration results or new resource analysis or reports, inability to obtain or substantial delays in obtaining permits required for future exploration or development or production, 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, 2012 and each subsequently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and 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: Jack Perkins
         Vice President, Investor Relations

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Source: Pershing Gold Corporation