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Pershing Gold Initiates Metallurgy Studies for Mine Planning and Permitting at the Relief Canyon Mine, Pershing County, NV

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LAKEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) is pleased to announce it has initiated the metallurgical studies needed for mine planning and permitting activities at Relief Canyon. The Company has selected McClelland Labs, Inc. of Sparks, Nevada to conduct a series of metallurgical test work designed to determine the best crush size and agglomeration method, with the ultimate objective of increasing gold recovery, and to determine waste rock characterization.

To support this study, Pershing Gold recently drilled five large-diameter diamond core holes located in the North and South Pits to provide a representative suite of samples for the metallurgical tests. These holes obtained drill core samples from the three ore types at the Relief Canyon Mine: the Main Breccia Zone; the Lower Zone; and the Jasperoid. Approximately 1,380 feet of core will be sent to the McClelland testing facility where it will be split, crushed, sampled and subjected to a variety of metallurgical tests.

"These metallurgical tests represent an important first step in the mine planning and permitting process for redevelopment of the Relief Canyon Mine," commented Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold CEO and Executive Chairman. "We are also very pleased to be working with McClelland Labs, one of the foremost metallurgical testing facilities in the gold mining industry. We believe the experts at McClelland can help us improve gold recoveries from the historic levels of 65 to 70 percent to our target increased recovery rate of 75 percent."

Pershing Gold has retained Earl Shortridge (MS, Metallurgy, Colorado School of Mines) to be the Company's in-house metallurgical expert to assist with the metallurgical testing program. Mr. Shortridge has more than 45 years of experience designing and interpreting metallurgical tests. Upon retiring from Newmont Mining, Mr. Shortridge established a consulting practice that has provided metallurgical expertise to a variety of clients including Franco Nevada, International Tower Hill, US Gold, and Newmont Mining.

About the Relief Canyon Mine

The Relief Canyon Mine property includes three open-pit mines and a state-of-the-art, fully permitted and constructed heap leach processing facility. These assets present Pershing Gold with the opportunity to achieve a fast-track path to production at the Relief Canyon Mine. 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.

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 metallurgical testing, waste rock characterization, gold recovery improvement efforts at the Pershing Gold's Relief Canyon properties, anticipated performance of this work by McClelland Labs, future services to be performed by Earl Shortridge, interpretations and significance of geologic information at Relief Canyon. 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, whether McClelland Labs and Mr. Shortridge will perform the anticipated services, whether efforts to find ways to improve potential gold recoveries will be successful, whether the results of metallurgical tests and waste rock analyses will be successful or will present problems for future potential operations, changes in interpretation or reinterpretations of geologic information, and fluctuating mineral and commodity prices. 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: Stephen D. Alfers Executive Chairman, President and CEO Phone Number: 720.974.7248 Email: investors@pershinggold.com www.PershingGold.com

Source:Pershing Gold Corporation